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Research Progress beyond the State of the Art

 

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Since environmental effects affect electronic products, especially the onboard electronics of vehicles from the 20th century, the regulatory authorities and manufacturers of every economic region have been doing a lot of research resulting in several standards and directives focusing on enforcing the behavior of vehicles faced with several environments. On the other hand, the increasing development of electronics applied to any automotive and ship sector makes these vehicles more sensitive to electromagnetic effects.

 

As defined previously, the aim of the current standards and directives is to cover requirements about immunity and susceptibility to radiated and conducted disturbances. These standards consider the electromagnetic environment in which these devices normally operate, defining immunity levels according to this environment.

 

It is clear that no malfunctions occur when devices are used in the electromagnetic environment they were designed for, but when the environment changes in terms of electromagnetic disturbances, devices could be affected. This interference phenomenon in EMC can be used sometimes as a desirable phenomenon for some applications. For example, electromagnetic disturbance effects may be one safe alternative way to stop non-cooperative vehicles, which is one of the main problems of security forces nowadays, reducing the risk of injuries as is shown in many studies and real cases.

 

In the above described context, SAVELEC aims to go beyond the state of the art since:

1. The scarcity of scientific studies and patents in Europe on such phenomena focusing on stopping non cooperative vehicles makes it necessary to make a detailed study of the sensitive parts of vehicles as well as the effects that such pulses have on them. The knowledge of levels, types of disturbances and coupling mechanisms could be used to evaluate the susceptibilities for this kind of device in order to develop devices to stop non cooperative vehicles.

 

2. Commercial systems based on military standards which simulate EMP pulses are available in the market; however, commercial systems are too large to achieve the objective proposed in this project. Likewise, the field level and waveforms generated by these equipments are the ones defined in these standards and this may not be an efficient solution.

 

System elements (antennas, generators, amplifiers and power sources) will be designed or integrated in order to create a system which stops non cooperative vehicles. The fundamental feature of this system will be its portability to be integrated into security forces’ vehicles. The optimization of the generated field level necessary will be also optimized to ensure the safety of citizens, the environment (including thevehicle in which the system is on board) and users of this technology.

 

3. The existing standards regarding the evaluation of human exposure to electromagnetic fields (e.g. EN 50357, EN 50364 and EN 50366) focus on establishing the requirements for equipment with regard to the protection of the health and safety of the user and any other person. But these requirements are based on the effect of continuous electromagnetic fields, in a period of time, on people.

The project aim is to evaluate the effects of the pulses from the car-stopping prototype device on people. These effects will be studied from two points of view: a) The effects in the near field on the final user (security forces) and on the people in the immediate environment. b)The effects in a far field on the occupants of the non-collaborative vehicle.

 

4. Human behaviour is a complex factor to assess but is decisive for the resolution of situations in the scenarios where this device is expected to be used. This is why besides the human exposure evaluation, human factors cannot be forgotten. Thus, some studies about the reactions of drivers in the event of car failures as a consequence of the EMP pulse will be carried out considering multiple variables.

 

5. The absence of EMP/HPM generators for industrial applications means there is a lack of a regulatory framework in the European Union related to the use of this technology and the evaluation of human exposure to this kind of electromagnetic pulse. The project will lay the groundwork to regulate the conditions of use of this technology and the requirements to ensure safety and security for persons and objects in the immediate environment restricting its use to authorized personnel to ensure proper handling.