Specific Absorption Rate – SAR Testing

Through our parent company EMC Technologies we are able to offer a complete RCM SAR testing as part of a large EMC testing project. We can offer the same great service, price and will organise all the testing through our parent company EMC Technologies (EMC Tech) at no additional expense passed on to you our customer. This can allow you to commence with the EMC Testing whilst we liaise with our parent company and get costings and scheduling for the safety testing.

What can EMC Technologies offer in the way of SAR testing?

EMC Tech specialises in the most commonly applied markets such as the Australian market RCM (formally C-tick and A-tick), European (CE marking), the United States (USA) and associated countries (FCC certification) and Canadian (ISED).

The evaluation of the human exposure to RF transmitters is required when RF transmitters are used in close proximity to the human body. The evaluation is performed against human Exposure standards which set basic restrictions for the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of RF energy by any part of the human body.  The types of RF transmitters that may require evaluation include cellular and smartphones (2G, 3G, 4G and 5G), two-way radios, Bluetooth devices, wireless EFTPOS terminals and WLAN devices used in products such as laptops, tablets and other consumer products. As a rule of thumb products incorporating RF transmitters that have an RF power exceeding 20mW (13dBm) and used in close proximity to the human body (usually <20cm) must comply with SAR requirements.

EMC Tech has the only Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) testing facility in Australia and New Zealand. EMC Technologies laboratory is NATA accredited to the Australian and also international SAR standards and regulations. EMC Tech boasts NATA accreditation for testing in accordance with EN 62209-1, EN 62209-2, EN 50360, IEEE 1528, ACMA EMR standard and FCC SAR Procedures. The EMC Technologies group can test devices operating from 4 MHz to 6 GHz at our head office test facility in Melbourne, Australia .

A quick summary of RCM, FCC, IC and European SAR requirements


SAR testing is mandatory for certain devices as part of RCM  (formerly C-tick and A-tick) testing and compliance, as per Radiocommunications (Compliance Labelling—Electromagnetic Radiation) Notice 2014. Devices with RF power output >20mW and <20cm from the body/head require SAR testing.

RCM low-power exclusion radiocommunications transmitter information

The ACMA also has an alternative low-power exclusion level calculator to make it even easier.

North America

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) testing and compliance under FCC rules for intentional radiators. Depending on the RF power output and proximity to the human body SAR testing may be applicable. Requirements are determined on a case by case basis in accordance with FCC KDB procedures. There is no blanket exemption for low power devices.

FCC 47 CFR 2.1093 SAR exclusion calculation


Industry Canada specifies similar requirements to the FCC as per RSS-102.

RSS-102 SAR exemption calculation


EMR (called EMF in Europe) compliance is required under the RED (Radio Equipment Directive) previously the R&TTE directive (Radio equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment). Devices with RF power output >20mW and <20cm from the body/head require SAR testing.

EMC Tech can provide measurement and validation for the most common frequencies between 150 MHz and 5.8 GHz. EMC Tech has reference dipoles, flat phantoms and SAR measurement probes that provide a compliant head and body SAR measurement over most of the applicable frequency range. The frequency range also includes some of the less common frequency bands at 150 MHz, 300 MHz 1600 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3500 MHz, 5.2 GHz and 5.8GHz.

EMC Tech has continually invested in base station simulators including test sets such as R&S CMU200, Anritsu MT8820A and Agilent model E6621A PXT which allows testing of the majority of technologies such as 2G/2.5G, 3G and 4G(LTE) – DECT, GSM, EGSM, E-GPRS, CDMA, WCDMA, EvDo, UMTS, HSDPA and HSUPA. Services also extend to WLAN transmitters employed in Laptop PCs, Notebooks, Tablets and PDAs which utilise WLAN standards IEEE 802.11abgn or WiFi/WiMAX devices.

For a detailed list of the NATA accredited SAR testing at EMC Technologies to test please refer to the NATA online accreditation scope using the link.