MIL-STD-461[1] is a United States Military Standard that describes how to test equipment for electromagnetic compatibility.

Various revisions of MIL-STD-461 have been released. Many military contracts require compliance to MIL-STD-461E. The latest revision (as of 2015) is known as "MIL-STD-461G".[2]

While MIL-STD-461 compliance is technically not required outside the US military, many civilian organizations also use this document.[3]

Electromagnetic compatibility test labs typically set up their anechoic chamber to comply with MIL-STD-461. Test labs attempt to comply with this standard for two reasons[citation needed]:

  • Even if no potential customer requires MIL-STD-461 compliance, if a device complies with (or is very close to complying to) the (relatively strict) MIL-STD-461, then it is certain to comply with the (relatively looser) FCC Part 15 and EMC standards of other countries, and it is simpler to run one test than to run a separate test for each one.
  • Even if only a few of the potential customers require MIL-STD-461, it's simpler to design a single commercial off-the-shelf product that complies with the most strict standard—MIL-STD-461—rather than trying to track several versions of a product that each comply with separate standard.

In 1999, MIL-STD-462 was combined with MIL-STD-461D into MIL-STD-461E.[4]


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