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Operation of light rail or subway systems produce transient magnetic fields that perturb the static background magnetic field (which is primarily the geomagnetic field). There are two components to the magnetic field impact from the light rail system:
Both of these components combine to produce changes in the ambient magnetic field environment with characteristic time-scales typically ranging from a fraction of a second to tens of seconds. The magnitudes of these magnetic field changes are generally strongest near the alignment and decrease moving away from the tracks. Such magnetic field changes can interfere with the operation of sensitive instruments and measurement systems used in research in the physical, biological and health sciences.
Two classes of research instrumentation are most susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI) associated with changes in the static magnetic field that can be part of light rail/subway systems. These are:
The second group includes various types of electron microscopes, such as scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and transmission electron microscopes (TEM), and semiconductor or nanotechnology equipment such as focused ion-beam (FIB) and e-beam lithography (EBL) systems.
The last group includes areas of research utilizing sensitive instrumentations that detect and measure extremely small voltages, currents, forces, or field quantities. One example is magnetoencephalography (MEG) that utilizes highly sensitive magnetic field detectors to map brain activity. Another example could be research that involves quantum state manipulation of materials for use in next-generation of electronic devices.
Mitigating these Quasi-DC fields, whether through shielding or a combination of shielding and Active Compensation Systems (ACS) is difficult and arriving at the lowest-cost solution is a complicated process of trade-offs integrating most effective materials, design and technology.
FMS has extensive experience with all aspects of electromagnetic interference from rail systems, whether it is the interference caused to sensitive instruments in a medical or research laboratory, interference caused by the rail system’s signal or communication system or interference with an audio recording studio. In addition to technical expertise and on-the-ground experience, FMS has experience working alongside all of the various interested parties.
Increasingly, the intersection of urban planning/mass transit, high-density research environments, and energy-efficient building designs combined with the emerging next generation of research tools is pushing the limits of standard low-EMI approaches in facilities. FMS represents the next-generation of EMI field management – with innovative approaches and new technologies that can enable new architectural paradigms for research environments.
FMS was engaged to conduct a thorough assessment of the building’s design for EMI interference threat concerns to sensitive research equipment. A document review and extensive 3-Dimension computer simulation studies were conducted to evaluate EMF emissions from the building’s electrical distribution, mechanical and other systems.
The Biological and Physical Sciences building (BPSB) is intended to provide biology and chemistry research and instructional space.
EMI conditions at site of new underground TEM Lab from adjacent buried 12.5 kV transmission line.
Over its 20 years, FMS has successfully completed hundreds of EMI projects which included a diverse range of consulting and mitigation services.