In May 2016, ARPANSA published a revised version of the Radiation Protection Standard for Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields - 3 kHz to 300 GHz (2002) (the ARPANSA Standard). The revised version extends the scope of Schedule 5 of the ARPANSA Standard to include equipment operating up to 6 GHz.
The effect of Schedule 5 of the ARPANSA Standard is to exempt certain devices from the requirement to be tested against the ARPANSA Standard. As the devices operate below minimum power levels, testing is not required to demonstrate compliance. However, a device is still required to comply with the reference levels in the ARPANSA Standard.
The revision to Schedule 5 is intended to align the compliance requirements for suppliers of low-powered mobile or portable radiocommunications devices that operate in frequencies above 2.5 GHz with the requirements that apply to devices operating below 2.5 GHz. The revision does not affect the requirements for these devices to meet the human exposure limits specified in the ARPANSA Standard.
The revised version of the ARPANSA Standard is available at ARPANSA’s website at http://www.arpansa.gov.au/.
For certain low-power radiocommunications transmitters used close to the body, section 5.4 of Schedule 5 of the ARPANSA Standard provides test exemptions for devices where the mean power output does not exceed the alternative low-power exclusion levels as defined in IEC 62479 (2010) and reproduced in the ARPANSA Standard.
A supplier wishes to supply a radiocommunications transmitter intended for use by the general public. The device operates on a frequency of 5.8 GHz, uses an antenna bandwidth of 10% and has a mean power output of 300 mW. The device is normally used at a distance of 25mm from the body.
Using the formula in section 5.4 of the ARPANSA Standard gives a Pmax’ value of 600 mW.
Since the device is intended for use by the general public, the alternative low-power exclusion level is also equal to the Pmax’ value of 600 mW.
As the mean power output of the device (300 mW) is less than the alternative low-power exclusion level, the device is not required to be evaluated for compliance against the ARPANSA Standard.
Please note that there are still record-keeping and labelling requirements for such a device under the ACMA’s EME regulatory arrangements.
To assist suppliers in determining whether particular devices are subject to the exemptions specified in section 5.4 of Schedule 5 of the ARPANSA Standard, the ACMA has developed an online calculator. The tool enables suppliers to determine the alternative low-power exclusion levels as defined in IEC 62479 (2010).
Push to talk devices
For the purposes of Schedule 5, mean power is calculated by multiplying the peak-envelope-power (PEP) by the duty factor. For push to talk devices, the duty factor may be assumed to be 50%.
To assist suppliers in transitioning to the revised ARPANSA Standard, suppliers may comply with either the current or previous version of the ARPANSA Standard until 1 July 2017.