Industrial interference and radio astronomy
The interferer – victim scenario is described for the case of industrial interference affecting radio astronomical observatories. The sensitivity of radio astronomical receivers and their interference limits are outlined. EMC above 30 MHz is a serious problem for Radio Astronomy. Interferer (CISPR) and victim (ITU-R RA 769) standards are not harmonised. The emissions from the interferer and their spectral characteristics are not defined sufficiently well by CISPR standards. The required minimum coupling losses (MCL) between an industrial device and radio astronomical antenna depends on device properties but is shown to exceed 140 dB in most cases. Spatial separation of a few km is insufficient on its own, the terrain must shield > 30–40 dB, additional mitigations such as extra shielding or suppression of high frequency emissions may be necessary. A case by case compatibility analysis and tailored EMC measures are required for individual installations. Aggregation of many weak rfi emitters can become serious problem. If deployment densities are high enough, the emission constraints can even exceed those for a single interferer at a short distance from the radio observatory. Compatibility studies must account not only for the single interferer but also for many widely distributed interference sources.