Although this new Technical Note covering how to test/screen an arrestor to ensure that it is working and operating properly was specifically created in reference to our FPL series of units designed to protect GPS and other Global Navigation equipment…the input here also applies to the majority of the NexTek FPL and FPN series units. Most of the FPL and FPN series, including the FPL GPS arrestors, use multiple stages of protection circuitry inside.
This relative complexity makes the FPL and FPN series Fine Protectors a bit more complex to test properly, when compared to other common types such as Gas Discharge Tube or Quarter Wavelength Shorted Stub arrestors.
Operational/Protection Voltage Testing
Without an actual lightning tester (such as the common 1.2×50µs / 8×20µs Induced Lightning waveform testers,) it is difficult to completely verify Transient Response and Performance.
The lowest-voltage component is usually the only one that can be tested using a Diode Tester or Slow Rising DC Power Supply & Multimeter combination. For NexTek FPL and FPN series devices, this usually means a fast-acting semiconductor Protection Diode that is responsible for final energy cleanup. However, this component is usually the least robust in terms of Transient Current Handling so if it remains intact and operating within specs…the entire unit should be working OK.
Test Voltage Levels – Units may have +1V, +3.3V, +5V, +12V, +24, or other common Protection Voltage ratings
Continuity and Insulation Testing
Any FPL or FPN series units that are rated to pass DC Power through the unit will test positive for continuity between center pins, when using a Multimeter tool.
RF Thru-Performance / Proper Radio Operation
One of the simplest ways to test the basic functionality of any arrestor, not just the FPL and FPN series units, is to test the unit in a radio installation and verify proper system operation. This alone is a positive indicator that the unit is operating properly and is probably not damaged.
Although probably our best-known type of solution, we wanted to take the opportunity to start off 2017 by highlighting Lightning Protection for coaxial RF applications. Fundamentally, the purpose of these devices is to provide high-performance Lightning & Surge Protection for Radio and Electronic Systems and their Users. This can be as simple as protecting a radio itself, or as complex as providing protection to the entire platform or system the protection is being installed upon.
You can see the common areas where protection is installed called out as A, B, and C in the diagram above. This is an over-simplification and does not exactly represent most actual installations, but it does a good job representing the various ways and reasons that a coaxial cable can be installed outside and therefore represent a potential ingress path for Transient Lightning Energy.
Lightning damage is a leading cause of radio damage in many locations and systems around the world. Anywhere a coaxial cable or radio antenna is run outside in an exposed location, there is a potential need for an arrestor/protector on the line as well.
While we do specialize in coaxial connectorized solutions where RF Energy must be passed during normal usage, we also do have many years of experience in designing and consulting on all sorts of Surge Protection devices… From Lightning Arrestors for AC, DC, or Serial/Comms lines, to providing multi-faceted protection that is as effective against Static/ESD and HEMP/NEMP energy as it is against standard Lightning transients.
High Current EMI Filters are commonly used on high power feed lines within MRI Machines and high-power Medical Lasers, in order to prevent any electronic interference issues and provide full Electromagnetic Compliance to common Medical Equipment regulations.
EMI Filters can be required on the Noise Source or the potential Noise Victim, and sometimes are installed on a certain line for both reasons! A filter installed on a properly shielded barrier will provide fully bi-directional protection.
What Types Of Medical Equipment?
In terms of devices that are likely to have a high-current connection and EMC requirements…MRI Machines and Medical Lasers are the most common types that might require a high current filter.
What Makes These EMI Filters Effective For the Application?
Our HPR Series filters are the Most Compact units available for their current ratings, and combined with Excellent Filtering Performance and an especially Rugged Design they are ideally suited for any high-current DC or AC filtering application. Medical equipment is subject to some of the most stringent EMC requirements of any industry, mostly because in most medical facilities there is a lot of equipment operating in close proximity with each other. Combine the crowded environment with the fact that people’s lives may be on the line when this equipment is being used, and you have the perfect explanation for the tough EMC requirements.
You Might Not Know; Just as our line of Power Filters are used to provide EMC compliance for a wide variety of military and government applications, our line of Surge Arrestors for coaxial RF lines are also in-use on an wide range of systems worldwide!
Whether they are installed on a Permanent Installation or a Land Vehicle, Ship, or Airborne Vehicle… Our surge arrestors provide the type of rugged performance and long lifetime that any Military or Government user demands. Solutions range from standard off-the-shelf units all the way to fully-custom solutions developed to meet a complex or special set of requirements.
We can provide protection against any threat type, including;
With the proliferation and continued growth of the use of Radios and Radio-based technology (sensors like radar, communications, even electronic warfare [EW]) across all military equipment and systems, there are a growing number of requirements for Lightning and Surge protection to ensure that mission-critical equipment and capabilities remain up and working properly at all times!
In fact, NexTek was formed as an EMC engineering consultant outfit, and our first contracts ever were in the Military world. With this type of experience and pedigree, you can be confident that your NexTek arrestor will provide protection, performance, and trouble-free operation…whether you are using it in a Mil/Gov application or not!
Today’s Featured Application and Did You Know? topic covers NexTek HPR series power filters and the fact that they are used in radar power supply systems around the world. We have EMI filters installed in fixed ground, land and sea mobile, and also airborne radar systems to help enable compliance with applicable EMI and RFI requirements at the system-level.
See below for an example of a ground mobile radar system where HPR series filters could be used, usually mounted within the Power Supply sub-system.
Unique Features that make HPR Series Feedthrough Power Filters ideally suited to these applications;
Robust and Rugged Design – High Performance in any Environment
Compact Size and Form Factor – Save the Maximum Amount of Space and Weight
Filtering Performance to 1GHz+ – Exceptional High Frequency Filtering Performance
High Reliability Units Available – Burnt-In Units for Maximum Reliability
No matter what type of radar system is being designed, NexTek HPR Series EMI and RFI filter solutions for power lines are uniquely suited for the challenge!
The DO-160 Series (currently DO-160G) regulations regarding Avionics cover a wide range of test requirements that every piece of certified Avionics equipment must comply with. With the range of requirements covered under this wide-reaching document, covering everything from Temperature Range and Vibration Ratings to EMI Susceptibility and Lightning Protection. Learn more about DO-160 and it’s various subsections by following the Wikipedia link below:
NexTek Arrestors and Filters are used to address DO-160G EMI and Surge Protection Requirements, respectively.
We have Coaxial Surge Protection solutions ranging from standard Off-The-Shelf to modified or fully custom for the following subsections;
Section 17: Voltage Spike Transients
Section 19: Relay Switching Transients
Section 22: Lightning Transients
Section 25: ESD [Static] Transients
We also provide EMI Filter solutions ranging from standard Off -The-Shelf to modified or fully custom for the following DO-160G sections;
Section 18: Audio Frequency Conduced Susceptibility
Section 19: Induced Signal Susceptibility
Section 20: Radio Frequency Susceptibility
Section 21: Emission of Radio Frequency
If you are looking for assistance, guidance, or solutions for any of the DO-160G requirements listed above…NexTek has the experience, expertise, and product range to help you find the perfect solution.
Trust the Experts, NexTek has 30 Years of experience designing and providing Transient and EMI protection solutions for customers and applications around the world.
Are you developing a Laser System for Industrial, Medical, or other Commercial use? Is your system prepared for regulatory compliance testing, specifically EMC testing for Emissions and Susceptibility? Have you identified a filter solution that is rated for enough current but also compact enough to fit almost anywhere?
You don’t have to look any further…. For years, NexTek HPR series filters have been trusted to ensure Industrial Laser systems are fully protected against all EMC-related threats.
High Power Laser systems are demanding applications, and NexTek’s HPR series are the preferred High Current EMI solution for some of the world’s leading Industrial Laser Manufacturers.
When high performance, compact size, and high current ratings are required…NexTek EMI Filters are the solution!
Our FPL Series of GPS Lightning Arrestors have been providing security and confidence to users of GPS Positioning and Timing Synchronization Systems around the world for over 10 years! These multi-stage protectors provide the fastest-acting surge protection available for DC Pass GPS and Global Navigation Band applications operating between 1.15 and 1.61 GHz.
The special multi-stage design incorporates a Gas Discharge Tube first stage, similar to what is used in NexTek’s PTC and PTR series GDT arrestors. However, as most GPS Receivers are quite sensitive to OverVoltage and Surge Related Damage…a Gas Discharge Tube alone is often not enough to provide adequate clamping by itself. Because of this, there are additional protection elements inside every FPL series arrestor including a Metal Oxide Varistor and a fast-acting Clamping Diode.
In addition to the enhanced protection provided by the multistage “Fine Protector” circuit inside, the FPL series provides a compact form factor that is easy to integrate into any design and impressive environmental ratings, including being waterproof to IP68 levels!
FPL Series Arrestor Highlights:
Low Cost at OEM Quantities
Best Protection Level Available
Compact Form Factor
For the best surge and lightning protection for any GPS Radio, Antenna, or Receiver setup…The NexTek FPL series will provide long-lasting protection in any environment and will give you the confidence in knowing that your system is protected!
This post is about protecting against high speed HEMP/NEMP pulses, one of the many types of transient threat that NexTek arrestors provide protection against. Although Lightning energy is the primary source of damage to coaxial lines and systems where they are used, there are also other types of Surge Energy that can cause damage to electronics.
HEMP/NEMP, or High altitude Electro Magnetic Pulse/Nuclear Electro Magnetic Pulse, discharges are among the most rare types of coaxial transient threats…but also among the most potentially damaging!
Damaging Nature of HEMP/NEMP Threats – The high-speed and extremely high energy nature of HEMP/NEMP transient events means that most modern electronics are left vulnerable to damage or permanent failure. The total energy contained within a nanoseconds long pulse has hundreds of kV or potential and multiple kA of current.
Difficulties in Providing HEMP/NEMP Protection – Providing protection against high-speed transient energy pulses such as those caused by HEMP/NEMP events can be extremely challenging for coaxial RF applications for one important reason; some of the Transient Energy can actually be within the normal pass-band of the radio/system during normal operation. This type of conflict makes it difficult to provide optimal (minimal loss) performance during normal system and radio usage but also maintain adequate high-speed Transient response to provide protection against this type of high-speed threat.
To learn more, discuss your requirements, or receive feedback regarding protection options for your application…Please Contact Us!
How to Determine Protection Level Requirements and Identify the Correct Solution – When examining a specific application and to quantify the EMP threat level so as to inform the selection of appropriate protection, there are two main paths to travel down:
One, the EMP threat may be given by a specific Industry Standard document (MIL-STD, IEC, IEEE, EN, etc) according to a judgement made upstream in the overall program… Second, in the absence of a specific requirement…you can determine an approximate threat level or desired protection level based on the program-level requirements, estimated risk, and even things like the estimated cost of protection.
See below for a table which lists some EMP Requirements which may apply to a given application:
MIL-STD 461, multiple subsections
MIL-STD 464, multiple subsections
IEC-61000-x-x, multiple subsections
Or any others that deal with E1, E2, and E3 Pulse Types
Have you ever wondered if it was possible to install lightning and surge protection within or nearby to a Hazardous Environment? If so, what sort of factors are important to be aware of during system design and maintenance? Are you familiar with NEC, NFPA, or ANSI Explosive Atmosphere Ratings but unsure about how to apply them to surge protection?
The white paper begins with a basic review of Hazardous Environment ratings and classes, as different Hazardous Area ratings could require different technical solutions between them. Beyond explaining the basics of the existing rating system, this article covers how to make a judgment about whether an arrestor can be installed safely in a given location (while maintaining Hazardous Environment requirements compliance.)
Last but not least, there is a checklist of Factors to consider when reviewing a specific application and potential install location within a system. Use these guidelines to carry your own analysis as far as possible, in order to make the proper design and component selection choices.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about Lightning Protection in Hazardous Environments then please get in touch with us directly!