Rapid Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Diagnosis and Mitigation

NCMS Project #: 142001

Problem: Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is an electromagnetic emission that causes a disturbance in another piece of electrical equipment and can be a primary cause of many maintenance issues.  It can lead to failure of communications between devices of an equipment network and computers, alarms generated without explanation, action on relays, without logic or command, and “burn down” of components and electronic circuits.The biggest concern with EMI is its impact to electronics and the requirement to quickly identify and mitigate EMI-induced maintenance issues to prevent major malfunctions or damage to equipment and people.

Benefit: As applicable, the Department of Defense and the commercial sector will utilize the lessons learned from this initiative to make informed design modifications and prevent EMI maintenance and sustainment issues for future ships, aircraft, vehicles, and other equipment.

Solution/Approach: Cables and other electronic components were installed on the USS Gerald Ford (CVN 78) using standard methods.  Many have subsequently failed during operational testing events due to EMI.  This has caused significant maintenance issues which are impacting operational availability and readiness of catapults, arresting gear, radar, weapons and aircraft elevators, and other critical components.  The overall objective of this initiative is to identify a rapid EMI diagnosis and mitigation process, to assist maintainers in EMI-intensive environments.  To that end, the initiative will investigate methodologies required to fix over 2,000 EMI penetrations on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier as surrogate. 

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Extend product lifecycle
  • Decrease maintenance and sustainment costs
  • Increase safety
  • Improve warfighter readiness

DOD Participation:

  • Program Executive Officer Aircraft Carriers
  • PMS 378
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren

Industry Participation:

  • Phoenix Group
  • Electronics Service
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Obsolescence management and continued maintenance capability
  • Safety
  • Reliability Improvement

Focus Area:

  • Other