A study on the radiated susceptibility of printed circuit boards and the effects of via fencing

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Because modern electronic systems are likely to be exposed to high intensity radiated fields (HIRF) environments, there is growing interest in understanding how electronic systems are affected by such environments. Backdoor coupling in particular is an area of concern for all electronics, but there is limited understanding about the mechanisms behind backdoor coupling. In this work, we present a study on printed circuit board (PCB) backdoor coupling and the effects of via fencing. Existing work focuses on ideal stackups and indicates that edge radiation is significantly reduced by via fencing. In this study, both full wave electromagnetic modeling and experimental verification are used to investigate both ideal and practical PCB stackups. In the ideal scenario, we find that via fencing substantially reduces coupling, which is consistent with prior work on emissions. In the practical scenario, we incorporate component footprints and traces which naturally introduce openings in the top ground plane. Both simulation and experimental data indicate that via fencing in the practical scenario does not substantially mitigate coupling, suggesting that PCB edge coupling is not the dominant coupling mechanism, even at varying angles of incidence and polarization.

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Electronics (Switzerland)

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