Measuring the shielding properties of flexible or rigid enclosures for portable electronics


Heaviside, in volume 1 of Electromagnetic theory, considered shielding of conducting materials in the form of attenuation. This treatment is still significant in the understanding of shielding effectiveness. He also considered propagation of electromagnetic waves in free-space. What Heaviside (1850–1925) could never have imagined is that 125 years later, there would be devices we know as mobile phones (or cell phones, handies, etc.) with capabilities beyond the dreams of the great science fiction writers of the day like H. G. Wells (1866–1949) or Jules Verne (1828–1905). More than this, that there would be a need for law enforcement agencies, among others, to use electromagnetically shielded enclosures to protect electronic equipment from communicating with the ‘outside world’. Nevertheless, Heaviside’s work is still fundamental to the developments discussed here. This paper provides a review of Heaviside’s view of shielding and propagation provided in volume 1 of Electromagnetic theory and develops that to the design of new experiments to test the shielding of these portable enclosures in a mode-stirred reverberation chamber, a test environment that relies entirely on reflections from conducting surfaces for its operation.


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Duffy, A.P., Arihilam, E., Sasse, H., Parker, S., Armstrong, R.,Wainwright, N., Steggles, S. and Thomas, T. (2018) Measuring the shielding properties of flexible or rigid enclosures for portable electronics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 376 (2134): 20170456


Research Institute

Institute of Engineering Sciences (IES)