Published July 4, 2023 | Version Authors' final version
Conference paper Open

Redefinition of the Amplitude Probability Distribution Measuring Function for Electromagnetic Emissions Assessment

  • 1. Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya
  • 2. EMC Electromagnetic BCN, S.L.


The amplitude probability distribution (APD) is a measuring function for assessing electromagnetic disturbances, especially those with a stochastic and time-varying distribution. According to the CISPR 16-1-1, the APD has been defined as the cumulative distribution of the probability of time that the amplitude of disturbance exceeds a specified level. The APD is highly correlated to the bit error rate of digital communication systems, and therefore, a redefinition of radiated emission limits based on the APD would be very meaningful in terms of protecting wireless systems from unintentional interferences. However, establishing emissions requirements based on the current standard APD method can be misleading and not completely traceable metrology-wise. This is because, when analyzing electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards, the current specifications for APD measurements are unclear and ill-posed. For instance, the APD is only defined for applications above 1 GHz and with a fixed resolution bandwidth of 1 MHz; both conditions are arbitrarily set due to legacy considerations. Given the capabilities and flexibility of available instrumentation technology, we will propose an improved and more general APD definition accompanied by a calculation algorithm. Moreover, we argue that the APD measurements shall move from a histogram-based approach and implement kernel density estimation instead. We deliver evidence that exemplifies and supports our revised APD definition through numerical simulations. The study closes with a critical discussion about why the APD is so relevant and how it can be redefined to become widely employed as part of EMC assessments.


The project (21NRM06 EMC-STD) has received funding from the European Partnership on Metrology, co-financed by the European Union's Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme and by the Participating States. EMC Barcelona's project under grant number SNEO-20211223 has received funding from CDTI, which is supported by "Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación" and financed by the European Union - NextGenerationEU - through the guidelines included in the `Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia". Dr. Azpúrua has received funding from the 2023 project, financed by the European Union's Horizon Europe - Research and Innovation Programme - under grant agreement No. 951972.


A5.1.4 - 21NRM06 - PIERS 2023 - Redefinition APD (Final).pdf

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Conference paper: 10.1109/PIERS59004.2023.10221246 (DOI)