Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

Check out this list of common testing related terms, acronyms, and definitions.

Elite Acronym Glossary


A2LA: American Association for Laboratory Accreditation

AC: Alternating Current

AF: Antenna Factor

AM: Amplitude Modulation

AMN: Artificial Mains Network (See LISN)

ANSI: American National Standards Institute


BCI: Bulk Current Injection

BER: Bit-Error-Rate

BSI: British Standards Institution


CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access

CE: Conducted Emission

CE Marking: Product mark indicating applicable standards have been met

CENELEC: European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization

CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute

CFR: Code of Federal Regulations (USA)

CI: Conducted Immunity

CIE: International Commission on Illumination

CISPR: International Special Committee on Radio Interference

CRT: Cathode Ray Tube

CS: Conducted Susceptibility

CSA: Canadian Standards Association


dB: Decibel

dB(A): Decibels referenced to 1 ampere

dBm: Decibels reference to 1 milliwatt

dB(mV): Decibels referenced to 1 millivolt

dB(mV/m): Decibels referenced to 1 millvolt per meter

dB(uV): Decibels referenced to 1 microvolt

dB(uV)/m: Decibels referenced to 1 microvolt per meter

DC: Direct Current

DoD: Department of Defense

DPI: Direct Power Injection

DSL: Digital Subscriber Line


ECCM: Electronic Counter-Countermeasure

ECM: Electronic Countermeasure

EEE/E3: Electromagnetic Environmental Effects

EFS: Electric Field Strength

EIA: Electronic Industries Alliance — prefix for electronics standards

EIRP: Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power

EM: ElectroMagnetic

EMC: ElectroMagnetic Compatibility

EMI: ElectroMagnetic Interference

EMP: ElectroMagnetic Pulse

EN: European Norm (prefix for standards)

ERP: Effective Radiated Power

ESD: ElectroStatic Discharge

EUT: Equipment Under Test

EW: Electronic Warfare


f: Frequency

fc: Foot-Candle

fL: Foot-Lambert

FCC: Federal Communications Commission (USA)

FDA: Food and Drug Administration (USA)

FFT: Fast Fourier Transform

FIM: Field-Intensity Meter

FRN: FCC Registration Number

FSM: Field-Strength Meter

FSS: Frequency Spread Spectrum


GB: GigaByte

GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation (EU)

GHz: GigaHertz

GTEM: Gigahertz Transverse ElectroMagnetic test cell


HAAT: Height Above Average Terrain

HALT: Highly Accelerated Stress (Life) Test

HASS: Highly Accelerated Stress Screening

HBM: Human Body Model

HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface

HEMP: High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse

HERF: Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Fuel

HERO: Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance

HERP: Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Personnel

HF: High Frequency

HIRF: High Intensity Radiated Field(s)

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language

HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol

HV: High Voltage

Hz: Hertz

IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers


IF: Intermediate Frequency

IEC: International Electrotechnical Commission

iNARTE: International/National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers

ISED: Innovation, Science and Economic Development (Canada)

ISM: industrial, scientific, medical

ISO: International Organization for Standardization

ITE: Information Technology Equipment

ITU: International Telecommunication Union


kHz: kiloHertz


LAN: Local Area Network

LCD: Liquid Crystal Display

LED: Light Emitting Diode

LF: Low Frequency

LISN: Line Impedance Stabilization Network

lm: Lumen

LV: Low Voltage

lx: Lux


MB: Megabyte

MHz: MegaHertz

MIMO: Multiple Input Multiple Output

MOV: Metal Oxide Varistor

mW: milliwatt

ms: millisecond


NEMP: Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse

NIST: National Institute of Science and Technology (US)

NOI: Notice of Inquiry (FCC)

NPRM: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC)

NSA: Normalized Site Attenuation

NTIA: National Telecommunications and Information Administration (USA)

NVLAP: National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (USA)


OATS: Open Area Test Site

OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer

OET: Office of Engineering and Technology (FCC)


P: Power

PCB: Printed Circuit Board

PCS: Personal Communications Services

POE/PoE: Point Of Entry/Power over Ethernet

ppm: Parts per Million

PSD: Power Spectral Density

PWD: Printed Wiring Board


RADHAZ: Radiation Hazard

RAM: Random Access Memory/Radiation-Absorbent Material

RBW: Resolution BandWidth

RE: Radiated Emission

RF: RadioFrequency

RFI: RadioFrequency Interference

RH: Relative Humidity

RI: Radio Immunity

rms: Root Mean Square

RS: Radiated Susceptibility

Rx: Receiver


SWR: Standing Wave Ratio


TCB: Telecommunications Certification Body

TDMA: Time Division Multiple Access

TEM: Transverse ElectroMagnetic (mode)

Tx: Transmitter


UKCA: UK Conformity Assessment (mark indicating UK standards compliance)

UL: Underwriters Laboratories

UPCS: Unlicensed Personal Communications Services

URL: Universal Resource Locator

USB: Universal Serial Bus

UTC: Coordinated Universal Time

UVA: UltraViolet band A — spectral range with wavelengths between 315 and 400nm

UVB: UltraViolet band B — spectral range with wavelengths between 280 and 315nm

UVC: UltraViolet band C — spectral range with wavelengths between 100 and 280nm


V: Volt

VOM: Volt-Ohm Meter

VSWR: Voltage Standing Wave Ratio


W: Watt


Ω: Ohm (omega)

λ: Wavelength (lambda)

Elite Glossary of Common Terms


Accelerometer: Transducer with an electrical output directly proportional to acceleration

Aliasing: To digitize an analog signal for processing in digital instruments

Amplitude: Magnitude of displacement, velocity, or acceleration, measured from the “at rest” value.

Attenuation: The reduction of RF power through a device, usually measured in decibels (dB)


Band Reject (Notch) Filter: A filter that rejects one band of frequencies and passes both higher and lower frequencies

Bandwidth: The passband width of a bandpass filter, usually shown as the frequency difference between lower and upper3dB points.

Beamwidth: In a plane of an antenna’s main beam, the angle between the two directions in that plane in which the radiation
intensity is some fraction (usually 3dB) of the maximum value of the main beam.

Bode Plot: Frequency response graph of a system

Bump/Impact Test: Vibration test when a sample is impacted with a massive object such as a hammer.


Carrier: The RF signal that carries the information encoded or modulated on it

Coaxial Cable: A transmission line consisting of two concentric conductors insulated from each other.

Coupling/Decoupling Networks (CDN): Decoupling networks are placed between the EUT and the auxiliary equipment to ensure that the disturbance signal does not influence auxiliary equipment

Critical Damping: Minimum amount of damping which will prevent a resonant structure from oscillating


Damping: Dissipation of energy within a mechanical structure

Decibel (dB): The unit expressing the ratio between two power levels existing at two points. Measured as: dB = 10 LOG10 ( P1 / P2 ).

Deterministic: Signal spectrum consists of discrete components, such as harmonics

Directivity: A measure of how well a directional coupler isolates the couples and isolated ports.

Ductility: Ability of a metal to deform to a permanent position before it fractures.

Dynamic Range: The range from minimum (3 dB above an amplifier’s internal floor) to maximum input level a component can accept and amplify without distortion.


Elastic Limit: Maximum stress a material can sustain without permanent deformation remaining after complete release of the stress.

Equivalent isotopically radiated power (EIRP): RF power is necessary to be emitted in all directions to produce an intensity, taking account of the transmitter power plus the antenna characteristics.


Far-Field Region: An antenna’s field region that has a predominant plane-wave character with uniform field strength in both E and H fields.

Fast Fourier Transform (FFT): Calculation routine that calculates a frequency spectrum from a time waveform

Field Strength: The far-field measurement of the electric field or the magnetic field. Units: V/m, A/m or W/m

Finite Element Modeling: Computer tool that models or simulates a mechanical structure in software


Gain: Ratio of the power output to the power input in dB, typically referring to antennas or amplifiers.

Ground Loop: Stray current resulting from two ground/earthed points have different potentials


Harmonics: Spectrum components that are integral multiples of the fundamental frequency

Highpass Filter: A filter passing high frequencies and rejecting low frequencies.


Input Impedance: The impedance measured in Ohms at the input terminal of a device.

Insertion Loss: A signal reduction caused by a device being inserted in a circuit, usually measured in dB


Line Impedance Stabilization Network: An RLC circuit inserted in a cable between a device under test and a test instrument to maintain a fixed impedance.

Linearity: The condition in a system where the output consistently tracks the input

Lowpass Filter: A filter passing low frequencies and rejecting high frequencies.


Modulation: Variation of one parameter of a signal by the action of another signal


Near-Field Region: A field region close to the radiating element where the E and H fields are not plane waves, complicating test processes.

Noise Floor: The lowest possible input to a component or instrument that will produce a detectible output.

Normalized Site Attenuation: Verification process for EMC test facilities that measure test-site insertion loss from 30-1000 MHz.


Octave: A frequency interval having a ratio of two


Peak Power Density: Maximum instantaneous power density occurring when power is transmitted

Periodic: The repeat of the same pattern over time

Phase: Relative time difference between two signals of the same frequency, measured angularly

Power Factor: Reduction in power due to voltage and current being out of phase

Prime Mover: Machine converting electrical or chemical energy into mechanical motion


Return Loss: The ratio of maximum power sent down a transmission line to the power returned toward the source.

Root Mean Square: Effective value of AC current or voltage, equating AC to a DC value providing the same power transfer


Selectivity: Measure of the narrowness of a band pass filter

Source Impedance: The output impedance of a circuit.

Spectrum Analyzer:

Standard Deviation: Measure of the dispersion of data in relation to the mean values

Stopband Filter: A filter attenuating a specific frequency range.


Thermistor: Thermally sensitive resistor

Thermocouple: Temperature sensor formed by joining two dissimilar metals and applying a differential between the measuring and reference junctions.

Transient Response: The response of a device to a sudden change from a steady state, such as a signal burst.

Twisted Pair: Two conductors twisted together for signal transmission. Done to minimize electromagnetic emissions.


Ultimate Tensile Strength: Maximum tensile stress a material is capable of sustaining. Calculated as the maximum load during a tension test carried to rupture, divided by the sample’s original cross-sectional area.


Voltage Standing Wave Ratio: The ratio between the maximum and minimum standing waves on a transmission line.


Wavelength: The length in meters of a single oscillating wave.

Sample of Commonly Referenced Standards



FCC Part 15: Unlicensed Devices Intentional & Unintentional Emissions

FCC Part 74: Licensed Device Standards

MI:L-STD-461G: Dept of Defense EMC


ICES-Gen: General Requirements for Interference-Causing Equipment

RSS-Gen: General Requirements for Radio Apparatus

RSP-100: Certification of Radio Apparatus


CISPR 11: ISM EM Emissions

CISPR 12: Vehicle, Boats, IC Engine Emissions protecting off-board devices

CISPR 14-1: Household Appliance Emissions

CISPR 14-2: Household Appliance Immunity

CISPR 15: Electrical Lighting EMC

CISPR 25: Vehicle, Boats, IC Engine Emissions protecting on-board devices

CISPR 32: Multimedia Equipment EMC – Emissions

CISPR 35: Multimedia Equipment EMC – Immunity

CISPR 36: Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Emissions protecting off-board devices <30MHz

EN 55011: ISM Equipment EMC

EN 55014: Household Appliance EMC

EN 55032: ITE Equipment Emissions

EN 55035: ITE Equipment Immunity

IEC 61000-4-2: ESD

IEC 61000-4-3: Radiated Immunity

IEC 61000-4-4: EFT & Burst

IEC 61000-4-5: Voltage Surge

IEC 61000-4-6: Conducted Immunity

IEC 61000-4-7: Harmonics Immunity

IEC 61000-4-8: Magnetic Field Immunity

IEC 61000-4-11: Voltage Dips & Variations


MIL-STD-810: Dept. of Defense Environmental Stress Standards

ISO 16750: Road Vehicle Electronic Systems

SAE J1455: Heavy Duty Vehicle Electronic Systems

RTCA DO-160: Commercial Aviation Environmental Requirements



SAE J575: Motor Vehicle Lighting Devices

SAE J2139: Motor Vehicle Signal and Marking Devices

FMVSS 108: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard – Lamps, Reflective Devices

GMW14906: General Motors Lamp Development and Validation


FAA Part 23/25/27/29: Aircraft Lighting Standards

SAE AS8037: Aircraft Position Lights


FAA AC 150/5345-43J: Obstruction Lighting Infrared

49 CFR 229 125: Railway Lighting

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