The 'Safe electromagnetic telecommunications' (Safetel) project enhanced the ability of motor vehicles to resist electromagnetic disturbance. Researchers developed a test strategy and state-of-the-art tools to ensure that electronic equipment performed correctly when subjected to the latest complex receivers and transmitters.
The Safetel project developed functional safety, which requires a system to operate properly by while taking take into account other effects such as vibration, temperature and humidity. Researchers addressed the issue of determining the probability of causing a fault or malfunction in the equipment as a result of exposing it to a certain level of interference.
Engineers considered the different parameters related to functional safety in both the test and design process. They determined the safety margin, which was defined as the difference between the correct performance of a system and the way it performs when subjected to electromagnetic disturbance.
The conventional way of testing equipment was to monitor it visually or by the sounds that it emitted. The Safetel project identified a suitable performance signal and filtered out all the noise components while increasing the sensitivity to the measuring equipment. Statistical signal processing algorithms were used to establish a direct link in real time between the disturbance and its impact on equipment under test.
New advanced standards and test methods enabled designers to develop electronic systems for vehicles that were better protected from unwanted signals. The results will help improve road safety and help provide a competitive edge to the European automotive industry.