The semi-annual TCB Council Workshop and RF Exposure Seminar concluded at the end of October with several interesting and important presentations from regulators and other members of the TCB community. The format this time was two days of radiofrequency (RF) exposure training followed by a two-day workshop primarily consisting of regulatory updates.
A highlight of the workshop was the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) presentation on the revision of its RF exposure procedures (KDB 447498). A new draft will be released soon for public comment. Alfonso Tarditi, Technical Research Branch Chief, gave an overview of the changes which include:
- improvements to the consistency and uniformity of specific absorption rate (SAR) test procedures that aim to streamline testing. These include consistent test separation distances and consistent exemption and evaluation formulas regardless of device form factor;
- extension of exemption limits to frequencies below 300 MHz;
- new guidance on the averaging time for frequencies above 3 GHz;
- a procedure to include unintentional radiator sources (URS) in RF exposure evaluation. The FCC emphasized the importance of having a simplified procedure that is limited to relevant cases, i.e., predominantly magnetic URS in the near field.
FCC also presented KDB 680106 (version 04), including the revised procedure for testing wireless power transfer (WPT) devices published on October 24.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) gave an update on its RSS-102 revision that will rationalize and clarify exposure procedures under a common framework and will include new or revised exemption limits for nerve stimulation, SAR, and absorbed power density (APD). ISED also presented SPR-002 (2nd edition), its exposure assessment procedure for the 30 kHz to 10 MHz frequency range, which is applicable to WPT devices and became mandatory on November 1.
The good news is that SPEAG’s updated DASY8/6 Modules for testing SAR, APD, incident power density above 6 GHz (mmWave) and wireless power transfer (WPT) devices are already fully compliant with the presented updates.
Slide from FCC presentation with summary of revised KDB 447498, presented at October 2023 TCB Council Workshop.
The RF exposure training included several interesting talks on both the fundamentals and new methods and standards. It started with a colorful presentation by Quirino Balzano, a true pioneer in dosimetry, from the University of Maryland and IT’IS Foundation, on the background and evolution of RF exposure assessment. Kaitlin O’Keefe and Steve Liu of RF Safety Lab brought their decades of expertise to describe the important details of RF exposure evaluation. Niels Kuster of the IT’IS Foundation presented the latest knowledge on APD assessment that is being incorporated into a new standard to be released in 2024. DASY8/6 Module APD will be compliant with this standard.
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