Cabling has been identified as one of the major factors influencing the electromagnetic compatibility of airborne platforms. Wires and cables link electronic devices together and provide the communications paths through which sensitive signals are transferred. These signals become contaminated when signals from other systems couple into these wires, or when cables and one or both of the devices may inadvertently respond to the interfering signal. This may result in premature release of ordnance, loss of navigational data, or other types of equipment operational degradation.
The interfering signal may originate from the electromagnetic environment created by systems external to the missile or aircraft (Intra-System), or by the transference of signals from one device within the system to another device within the system (Inter-System). Wires and cables act as antennas converting radiated signals into currents within the wire or cable, or currents within the wires to radiated signals. Since these wires and cables transfer power and signals between elements of a system, interfering signals are then conducted directly into the electronic equipment which they serve.
This E3 problem has been present since radios and sensitive equipment have been installed in aircraft. It is incumbent upon responsible design and manufacturing individuals to use available processes and techniques to assure that aircraft equipment performance is not degraded by coupling of unwanted signals into sensitive equipment via cabling interfaces.