A MOD customer had identified concerns around the effective and appropriate application of a range of applicable standards and the risks associated with undesired Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) between Reactor, Strategic Weapon Systems (SWS), Tactical Weapon Systems (TWS) and Platform systems, that could lead to fundamental safety failures of whole boat safety. Robust management is necessary to maintain the capability of legacy and new equipment through the multitude of design, equipment and other changes that occur through life (Platform Design Changes, Alterations and Additions (A&As), Guidance Instructions etc), and the potential impact on safety.
RB Safety’s expert individuals conducted an independent study into Submarine Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), an in-depth analysis and critique of current EMC management activities and the mismatch of the current EMC testing approach. Their work delivered an understanding of extant EMC management techniques, determined the level of EMC risk for in-service submarine classes and for the ASTUTE class on transfer from the Submarine Production Project Team (SMP-PT) to In-Service Submarines, and developed and suggested robust EMC governance structures and management techniques for the future. A management strategy was articulated that drew upon good practice from other domains, external and internal, and was acknowledged and approved by the MOD’s EMC experts (E3A), and other stakeholders. It included a package of education and training to significantly improve the “informed customer” function and design/development of a unique Risk Quantisation Tool based upon accepted and tested principles from other high-risk domains, enabling risk balance judgments for the identification and management of cumulative EMC risk in submarines.
The work provided direct positive impact on the DE&S’ drive to rationalise design and support costs in the Submarine Enterprise, through cross-decking equipments and their EMC compliance between classes. The utility was demonstrated for platforms and complex systems as well as individual items of equipment both in the approvals process and installed equipment with an objectively assessed low functional safety risk. Significant time and financial savings were demonstrated that with a rationalised, common and best practice approach, showed even greater potential benefits across the wider Maritime or Defence environment.