About the IEC 62209-3 standard

SAR testing industry

What is the IEC 62209-3 standard?

The IEC 62209-3 standard is officially published since September 2019 and is the most recent and advanced SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) measurement standard. It covers in a single standard all local SAR measurement types such as left and right head sides, body and limb. 
It is the first performance-based SAR measurement standard and is not limited to one specific SAR measurement technology only. Noticeably, IEC 62209-3 standard supports a very advanced SAR measurement method based on radio frequency and vector antenna array receiver, also called RF Vector Measurement Based Probe Array System.

This is the first measurement procedure standard allowing the use of Vector Measurement-based systems for full SAR compliance on both hand-held and body-mounted devices.

The IEC 62209-3 standard has been drafted within the IEC/TC106 expert group constituted by 26 participating national committees regarding this topic. This standard aims to drastically reduce the measurement time to assess the SAR conformance of wireless devices during the full compliance certification process. It takes unprecedented benefits of direct vector-field and radio-frequency measurement technology. Using analytical approaches that only rely on physics, such as Maxwell’s equations, makes this IEC 62209-3 standard the most advanced, accurate and easy to use methodology to assess SAR measurements challenges. This is especially crucial and inevitable for complex signals, such as LTE-Advanced, and 5G because of the multiple emissions1 as well as the drastically wider bandwidths of signals.

Like every standard developed for full compliance testing, IEC 62209-3 standard specifies system-validation procedure and requirements a measurement system shall meet on absolute reference antenna sources and associated test validation conditions.

An advantage of the IEC 62209-3 standard is that the diversity and the quantity of absolute reference antenna and tests validation conditions are much more numerous than in IEC 62209-1/-2. This makes the IEC 62209-3 standard the most robust and demanding standard existing today in term of SAR test equipment validation. In other words, never before such quantity and demanding SAR test equipment validation data has been accessible.

Because IEC 62209-3 standard is introducing both fast-scanning probe arrays and highly demanding requirements, the aim of this standard, which is to offer to the industry the most complete and robust full compliance SAR standard with high accuracy and speed, is now reached.

Why is THE IEC 62209-3 standard existing?

Initiated by ART-Fi in 2013, this standard is strongly supported from the very beginning by the industry because it answers important needs. Indeed, it was initiated based on the observation that IEC 62209-1 standard & 62209-2 standard SAR measurement systems are very slow, complex to use, expensive, not enough accurate and technology limited.

The latter is generating a lot of complexity in the daily life of end-users of such SAR measurement systems and is also generating a lot for work for laboratories and regulators to try to define methods that work around the limitations, such as test reduction procedures. It is important to notice that measurement systems complying with IEC 62209-1 & 62209-2 are slow and time-consuming. They have generated over the last 20 years a lot of complexity and shown limitations when measurement are performed at close proximity to the human Body. Recently in order to reduce the error of SAR measurement for DUT positioned at 5mm or at a lower distance, the IEC 62209-2 has been amended (see the IEC 62209-2:2010/ AMD1:2019), the procedure proposed in this amendment consist of reducing the step size during the zoom scan procedure, as a consequence the measurement duration is at least doubled, such as the test reduction procedures2, hence putting emphasis on the importance of using new measurement methodologies to fully simplify the global certification process. Indeed, thanks to IEC 62209-3 standard there is no need any more to compromise the number of test configurations or to develop a formal worst case scenario identification procedure. Thus, all measurement configurations and positions can be performed tested in order to make sure the maximum SAR value is found, while saving more than 90% of time during the DUT certification process.

Based on the evolution of the wireless industry the quantity of tests to cover RF exposure aspects is exploding. To face this situation in an efficient manner, only fundamentally new technologies for experimental assessment of SAR are needed to fulfill the goal of achieving more accuracy with more speed, all by enabling future proof for new radio signals, new technologies and new transmission modes of wireless devices. This explains why IEC 62209-3 standard has included noticeably RF Vector Measurement Based Probe Array System to address all these challenges at the same time.

IEC 62209-3 standard regulations status & trends

After several years of development, the IEC 62209-3 standard process poll for publication has been positively completed in 2019 and has been strongly supported by the national committees. This process has led to the publication of the IEC 62209-3 standard as an international one on September 24th 2019, hence enabling the normative usage of latest RF Vector Measurement Based Probe Array test methodology for SAR compliance certification purposes. The New IEC 62209-3:2019 standard is available on the IEC webstore here.

Right after the publication of this international standard, Notified Bodies (NB) have started reviewing all technical evidences provided by ART-Fi and proving the full compliance of ART-MAN system with the requirement of the IEC 62209-3:2019. One of the first Notified Body accepting test reports for DUT compliance on ART-MAN system is PHOENIX TESTLAB, and their announcement is available here.

 

The European standard is available here.

In the US, the FCC recently announced during the last TCB workshop of November 2019, that they continued the review and the assessment of the validation requirements in the aim of authorizing the use of Vector Measurement Based Probe Array System for SAR compliance testing. FCC plans to continue the development of relevant KDBs to this end, and to achieve their publications in the coming months. The FCC presentation can be consulted from the TCB Council platform here.

IEC 62209-3 standard & ISO 17025: THE ART-MAN status

ART-MAN is the unique RF Vector Measurement Based Probe Array System. ART-MAN has demonstrated with several of its ISO 17025 partners its full compliance withIEC 62209-3 standard requirements.

The “Calibration” of ART-MAN SAR measurement system was developed with the assistance of the head of accreditation at the electricity division of the laboratory sections of the COFRAC (The French Committee for Accreditation), specialized in Time-Frequency calibration and Electricity-Magnetism.

The “Calibration” method implemented at ART-Fi laboratory is a standard method based on the Annex B.2.2 of the international standard IEC 62209-3:2019. This method is recognized and validated, meeting the requirements of compatibility with ISO / IEC 17025.

This new scope of accreditation has confirmed how much accreditation is an important tool to meet the needs of the worldwide industry. The ART-Fi laboratory obtained its accreditation ISO / IEC 17025: 2005 (n ° 2-6545) in October 18th 2018 for the “Calibration” of SAR measurement system.

Thanks to the multilateral agreements signed by the COFRAC, the issued calibration certificate is recognized in many countries worldwide.

ART-Fi’s accreditation is available on the COFRAC website here.

The certificate is available on the COFRAC website here.

 

SAR: Specific Absorption Rate

1. Carrier aggregation in LTE-Advanced, multiple transmitters

2. See KDB 447498 D01, which are very old and potentially inadequate for addressing the complexity of new wireless technologies

 

 

ABOUT ART-FI
High precision solution for Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) testing & measurement. SAR measurement solution. Precise SAR testing services.  SAR Testing for IEC and FCC | SAR Compliance Testing. ART-Fi provides solutions to accelerate wireless regulatory compliance across development, pre-compliance testing, and certification using innovative electromagnetic field measurement technologies. ART-Fi also offers professional services for antenna design, development, and 3D-EM simulation. Solution de mesure de haute précision du débit d'absorption spécifique (DAS).



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