Electromagnetic compatibility

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Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the branch of electrical sciences which studies the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy with reference to the unwanted effects (Electromagnetic interference, or EMI) that such energy may induce. The goal of EMC is the correct operation, in the same electromagnetic environment, of different equipment which use electromagnetic phenomena, and the avoidance of any interference effects.

In order to achieve this, EMC pursues two different kinds of issues. Emission issues are related to the unwanted generation of electromagnetic energy by some source, and to the countermeasures which should be taken in order to reduce such generation and to avoid the escape of any remaining energies into the external environment. Susceptibility or immunity issues, in contrast, refer to the correct operation of electrical equipment, referred to as the victim, in the presence of unplanned electromagnetic disturbances.

Interference, or noise, mitigation and hence electromagnetic compatibility is achieved primarily by addressing both emission and susceptibility issues, i.e., quieting the sources of interference and hardening the potential victims. The coupling path between source and victim may also be separately addressed to increase its attenuation.

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