Testing Services for the Telecommunications Industry

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) performs Bellcore Network Equipment-Building System (NEBS) type compliance testing to aid industry in providing highly reliable telecommunications service to the consumer so that continuous operation is assured during emergency calls for police, fire, and medical service, even in the geographical areas prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes.

SwRI has received accreditation by OSHA as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). This accreditation includes testing and third-party quality assurance services. SwRI has decades of experience and extensive facilities to provide independent, comprehensive testing and engineering services to the telecommunications industry.

SwRI provides the following services and facilities to telecommunications equipment manufacturers and operating companies worldwide:

  • Laboratory Earthquake Simulation

Using a 10-inch stroke, biaxial, hydraulic actuated earthquake simulator with computer control, SwRI runs synthesized waveforms like the Bellcore GR-063-CORE VERTEQII acceleration time history or synthesized random drive signals to meet required Shock Response Spectra (methods described in IEEE 344 and IEC 68-3-3).


Equipment is mounted atop the SwRI seismic facility and exposed to a simulated earthquake environment.


  • Fire Performance Evaluation

Equipment, cable assemblies, and materials are evaluated to obtain fire hazard characterization, extinguishability criteria, and fire spread criteria.

  • Fire Test Methods

SwRI evaluates burning process, fire endurance and spread, combustible material fuel load, extinguishing properties, heat release measurement, qualitative/quantitative smoke measurement, combustion gas analysis, and smoke corrosivity.

  • Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Evaluation

SwRI engineers conduct EMC evaluations for conducted, radiated, electromagnetic emissions (EME), and electromagnetic interference (EMI) using screen rooms, anechoic chambers, and an open-air test site as required by GR-1089-CORE.

  • Electrical Measurement

SwRI engineers evaluate effects of electrostatic discharge to equipment, equipment grounding, and equipment immunity to power transients.


A gas line burner is inserted into equipment to initiate fire simulating electrical shorting, and extinguishability is evaluated.


  • In Situ Measurement of Acoustic Intensity

Sound power levels or sound pressure are established using one of the SwRI anechoic chambers to evaluate equipment acoustic noise emissions.


Sound intensity techniques are used to characterize equipment noise.


  • Environmental Chambers

Equipment performance is evaluated under various combined temperature, humidity, and altitude conditions experienced during storage, transport, and in-service operation.


Equipment is placed in environmental chambers to evaluate performance in various temperature and humidity conditions.


  • Electro-Dynamic Shakers

Equipment is exposed to shock and vibration experienced during transport, installation, and normal operation.


Equipment packaging is evaluated for effectiveness in transport by exposing it to simulated vibration and shock on electrodynamic shakers.


Other related capabilities at SwRI include:

  • Structural analysis and verification
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) compliance testing
  • Thermal analysis and laboratory validation
  • Fluid flow analysis and laboratory validation
  • Component design
  • Failure analysis
  • Plant and machinery noise and vibration control
  • Materials research and evaluation
  • Natural environments simulation

SwRI has performed physical environmental testing for the past two decades for commercial industries and the military, meeting MIL-Specs and widely recognized standards of the IEEE, ANSI, ASTM, ISO, and others. Over the last decade, services have been provided to meet telecommunications standards and specifications like Bellcore, ETSI, IEC, ISO, and others. Quality systems are in place at SwRI to comply with ISO 9001, ISO 9002, and ISO Guide 25.

Equipment used to perform testing activities is calibrated with traceability to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and controlled to comply with a MIL-S-45662 and ISO Guide 25 calibration system.

Test personnel are qualified and certified to perform activities complying with stringent nuclear and DOD/NASA quality assurance programs.

For more information about Testing Services for the Telecommunications Industry, contact Tim Fey, Mechanical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Phone (210) 522-3253, Fax (210) 522-4506, or visit nebs.swri.org.

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