IXUS 3.3 released

We wish all a productive and compliant 2013!

After a year of hard work and dedication we are happy to announce the release of IXUS 3.3.  Improving IXUS in terms of usefulness, efficiency and user friendliness has helped many operators, assessors and consultants to become experts in the field of electromagnetic safety.  The quality and accuracy of the results combined with the efficiency of the management system reduces the need to consult with, or appoint highly qualified and expensive personnel.

In keeping up with the fast pace of technology IXUS now supports all the latest LTE wireless communication standards at the various frequency bands in use.  A highly requested feature was added to allow users to calculate an exclusion zone at a user specified level of the selected standard.  This allows assessors to simulate an exclusion zone at variable levels for example at 25% of the specified standard.

Custom exclusion zones

We also improved the integration between IXUS and the Online Antenna Portal making it easy to get the antennas that are not available on your database.

After marketing and investing internationally we have successfully entered the North American markets by supporting the compliance standards published by the FCC and Industry Canada Safety Code 6.  We will continue to update and improve the IXUS calculator and we hope that this is the start of many new good relationships.

Please download the latest version of IXUS Solo Modeller or evaluate the latest IXUS Manager online from our download page.

IXUS 3.0 EMF Simulation and compliance management software released

It has been a busy year for the IXUS team and we are very proud to announce the launch of IXUS 3.0.  The product has evolved over time into a more complete, comprehensive EMF compliance solution that we are all very proud of.  It’s been simplified into pluggable modules giving users the option to select only the functionality required, be it EMF simulation, RF measurement, or just data management and reporting.

It’s been extended to contain various internationally accepted EMF standards like ‘FCC (OET65)’ used in the USA, ‘BRV B11’ used in Germany, and the Canadian ‘Safety code 6’.  An uncertainty model in line with IEC 62232 was developed making it possible to adjust the confidence interval for the simulation results.  IXUS 3.0 has a new fresh look and feel that we hope breathes a bit of new life into the repetitive nature of the job.  Improvements in reporting allows both custom template reports to be added and existing report templates to be edited using Microsoft Word, making reports fully customisable.

We are looking forward to your feedback.

Full change-log follows…

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FCC Radiation Standard added to IXUS Software

Various standards are being used globally for evaluating compliance for human exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields.  In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted and used recognised safety guidelines since 1985.  The FCC guidelines were derived from recommendations of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  The exposure limits used by the FCC are expressed in terms of electric and magnetic field strength and power density for transmitters operating at frequencies from 300kHz to 100GHz.

The actual values used in IXUS software when selecting the FCC standard have been published by the FCC and can be found in either of two informational bulletins on the FCC Web site at OET Bulletin 56 or OET Bulletin 65.

These FCC guidelines were set up in consultation with, and from research supported by various federal health and safety agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  Countries in Europe, Africa and Asia have adopted exposure guidelines developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).  The ICNIRP safety limits are generally similar to those of the NCRP and IEEE, with a few exceptions.

The NCRP, IEEE and ICNIRP exposure guidelines identify similar threshold levels at which harmful biological effects may occur.  The level of exposure recommended by ICNIRP is somewhat different in the lower and upper frequency ranges and for localised exposure.  In addition, the NCRP, IEEE and ICNIRP guidelines for maximum permissible exposure are different for different transmitting frequencies.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) EMF Project is working towards providing a framework for harmonisation of these different international of RF safety standards.  IXUS Software now allows the user to select the required exposure levels from a selection of different internationally accepted standards.

Source: FCC

Uncertainty model added to IXUS in accordance with IEC 62232 requirements

Two-sided-CI

IXUS now has a built-in, user customisable uncertainty model.  The newly published IEC 62232 Standard requires an uncertainty model for the ray tracing assessment method used in IXUS Modeller software.

Users can choose to include or exclude feed system loss and scattering and reflection uncertainties in the model and have the option to run simulations at the following confidence intervals:

  • Upper two-sided 95%
  • Upper two-sided 80%
  • Best estimate
  • Lower two-sided 80%
  • Lower two-sided 95%

An upper 2-sided 95% confidence interval means that there is a 97.5% certainty that the simulated fields are conservative over the actual fields.  This will typically be used by operators who want to ensure that the calculations they do with IXUS and the resulting control boundaries around antennas are conservative.  A lower 2-sided 95% confidence interval means that there is a 97.5% certainty that the simulated fields are lower than the actual fields.  This might be used by regulators who investigate RF compliance at sites and who want to be confident about non-compliance findings.  ‘Best estimate’ refers to the statistically most likely value.  This is where the simulated value is most likely to equal the actual field value.

In the past performing a compliance assessment that included uncertainty estimations was a laborious process.  This feature simplifies the process and reduces the effort required.  See the attached example for more information on base station compliance assessments and uncertainty.

Full uncertainty analyses were performed for the ray tracing assessment method, as required by the IEC 62232 standard.  A 95% Confidence Interval (CI) is used in the results and related control boundaries presented, ensuring conservative results for 97.5% of all cases.

IEC 62232 – EMSS IXUS – Ray Tracing Case Study.pdf

IXUS techniques presented at BEMS 2011 Halifax

IXUS was recently represented at the 33rd annual meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society in Halifax, Canada where we presented the innovative techniques used for optimisation of ray-tracing algorithms for EMF safety assessments of base stations.

We would like to thank all those who attended the meeting, for many fruitful discussions on IXUS Software and EMF safety in general. We look forward to meeting again, if not sooner then at the next BEMS meeting.
View the abstract or have a look at our presentation if you want to know more.

IXUS Measurement Module explained

This video shows the basic functionality of the IXUS Measurement Module. Base stations are assigned to specific surveyors and measured using the Narda SRM 3006.  The Narda SRM measures GPS coordinates and records a voice message with each measurement. Afterwards it is connected to a PC and measurements are associated and uploaded to the IXUS Manager server.  On the IXUS Manager you can download a .GPX file that opens in Google Earth.  Create aerial pictures and upload them in the Manager along with photos of the base station.  Automatically generate a report using all the base station information, measurements, aerial pictures and photos.

An example of such a report can be viewed here.

IXUS Solo Modeller update (21/04/2011)

Zone ImprintA new version of IXUS EMF Simulation software, the Solo Modeller was released today and is available for download.  Access the download here to get your update.  The following list of features and improvements were implemented.

  • Multi-core calculation implemented improving calculator speed on dual and quad core machines. See the comparison in the previous post.
  • Exclusion zone imprints improved and extended to appear on ground as well as on geometry as shown in this video.
  • Signs can be added and used in the Modeller physically and as labels
  • Duplicate and move functionality now available in both the 3D view and the object tree
  • Caution lines functionality improved
  • Far-field patterns are now included for custom antennas resulting in more accurate calculations outside bounding block. (Antenna models have to be updated to see the effect)
  • Antenna label moves towards front of antenna when viewing from the top
  • An environmental slice label was added to differentiate between environmental slices
  • Default rotation axis orientation changed according to local coordinates of target objects
  • Memory hedge provided for safe out of memory situations
  • New simplified and smaller installation package
  • Many bug fixes and stability improvements

IXUS EMF compliance and simulation software in line with the requirements of the EU Directive 2004/40/EC

IXUS EMF Compliance management and simulation software and the ensuing compliance process followed is in all major aspects in line with the requirements set out in European Union Directive 2004/40/EC for mobile and other base stations. The Directive refers to the requirements for limiting exposure of the general public and measures to improve the safety and health of employees.  EU member states are to implement the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this directive no later than 30 April 2012.  The 2004/40/EC is still in draft format, but would be a good starting point for a proactive compliance approach.

IXUS compliance database and modelling software offers an integrated platform for the storing and management of all compliance related documentation, photos, measurements and 3D simulations required and simplifies the issuing of compliance reports and certificates through automatic report generation.  Compliance reports and information are accessible from anywhere and can easily be updated as the base station evolves.  The compliance process and the IXUS software features are all designed to be used in an RF safety program which usually consists of the following steps:

  • Assessment of base stations
  • Implementation of control measures
  • Documentation of all assessments and control measures for record keeping and audits
  • Maintenance and monitoring of compliance at sites after configuration changes or upgrades

“In carrying out the obligations laid down, the employer shall assess and, if necessary, measure and/or calculate the levels of electromagnetic fields to which workers are exposed.” “Assessment, measurement and calculation may, until harmonised European standards from CENELEC cover all relevant assessment, measurement and calculation situations, be carried out in accordance with the scientifically-based standards and guidelines referred to in Article 3 and, when relevant, by taking into account the emission levels provided by the manufacturers of the equipment when it is covered by the relevant Community Directives.”

Article 4 – 1, DIRECTIVE 2004/40/EC

Three assessment methods are used in practice by operators and are supported by international standards.

  • Generic assessments involve using site information like plans and photos, along with basic calculations to create generic compliance rules that can be applied to establish compliance.  It is typically used at masts and basic wall mounted base stations.
  • For more complex rooftop- and shared base stations Numerical modelling software like IXUS Modeller can be used.
  • Measurements are used for sites shared with high power partners and complex rooftops sites where the conservative generic assessments or the numerical modelling indicated non-compliance.  It is expected that less conservative measurements would result in compliance.

The exposure limit values and action values referred to in Article 3 of the directive are obtained from the exposure limit values used by the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) in its guidelines on limiting exposure to non-ionising radiation (ICNIRP 7/99).  The algorithms implemented and used for the computational assessment in IXUS Modeller are an implementation of the ray tracing synthetic model as detailed in ITU-T K.61, CENELEC 50383, and draft IEC62232.

Numerical modelling assessments in IXUS Modeller include the combined exposure from multi-band and multi-operator transmissions as specified in the EU directive.  IXUS Modeller calculates the occupational and public exclusion zones established by ICNIRP.  However, IXUS can also be customised to use different international compliance standards including those of the IEEE, ARPANSA and other EU standards.  IXUS Modeller can also be used as a compliance planning tool during the design stages of a base station to visualise the exposure limits in 3D, optimising the selection and placement of equipment.

“The data obtained from the assessment, measurement and/or calculation of the level of exposure shall be preserved in a suitable form so as to permit consultation at a later stage.”  “The risk assessment shall be updated on a regular basis, particularly if there have been significant changes which could render it out of date, or when the results of health surveillance show it to be necessary.”

Article 4 – 4, DIRECTIVE 2004/40/EC

Record keeping in terms of compliance is a requirement of most international guidelines and standards.  Basic assessment documentation and site pictures are required for all sites. More advanced assessment reports including the calculations and/or measurements with detailed site information are a requirement for more complex sites such as rooftops and shared sites.

IXUS is perfectly aligned in order to fulfil the requirements set out in the EU directive.  Generic assessments, calculations and/or measurements of the electromagnetic fields can easily be performed at all sites in a network.  3D Modelling and calculation of exposure limits are based on scientifically established and accepted standards.  An assessment of the EMF risk areas can be kept on the database and updated as it evolves and the identified control measures can be documented.  Up to date information on access control, signage and control measures can easily be accessed by employees encouraging work methods that reduce the duration and intensity of RF exposure.

Additionally EMSS also designed and manufactures the fieldSENSE personal RF monitor which will further ensure that RF workers and members of the public working in the vicinity of transmitting base stations antennas will not be overexposed.

EMSS at EBEA conference

EMSS presented a paper at the recent EBEA conference in Rome. The paper details a practical method to assess RF workers that have metallic implants.  This method is tailored to the cellular industry with a goal to give accurate answers to network operators in a realistic time frame so as to make relevant decisions.  These advances in technology are in line with the EMSS approach to all EMF compliance issues, and tie in well with the IXUS & fieldSENSE product suite.  The abstract of the paper can be viewed here.

IXUS at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

We recently attended the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (14-17 Feb 2011) which attracted a record 60 300 people. We would like to thank all those people who visited our exhibition, and we look forward to a lasting business relationship. If you missed us, no problem, we will be there again next year.

Feel free to set-up a meeting beforehand to avoid disappointment. Contact us at contact@emssixus.com.

A place where EM Specialists meet