Site Characterisation for SKA South Africa

MESA has been the EMC and RFI consultant for the South African SKA project since 2006. We have assisted with a wide variety of associated issues that range from applying the correct principles during hardware design to on-site characterisation and monitoring of interference related issues.

Renewable Energy Developments

The impact of renewable energy developments aimed for the Northern Cape centres around the declaration of an Astronomy Geographic Advantage Area 2013. This aims to minimise the contribution of RF interference to the area associated with new developments. MESA assists not only with the impact assessment of these developments, but also with the implementation of the required compliance measures.

Compliance for Lightning Protection

Lighting protection has a natural association with EMC hardening as both concepts rely on identifying where the interference current is flowing. As a result MESA is able to assist with compliance investigations of SANS 62305 series of standards. This includes both evaluating the installed protection systems as well as providing the necessary recommendation to ensure compliance. 

Precompliance Testing

Precompliance investigations are a more cost effective method of evaluating a product's likely state of compliance, and provides the developer the opportunity to determine a baseline emission profile. A part of this process can include implementation of mitigation measures in an iterative investigation to determine practical implementation measures to ensure compliance.   

Some of the latest developments MESA is focussing on includes an adjustable comb generator capable of covering a frequency range of 100 MHz to 8 GHz with a constant output power of -10 dBm. With a compact form factor, a minimum of 10 hours continuous battery operation, and a constant power output with less than 3 dB variation across the band, it is an ideal reference source for broad band, high attenuation shielding effectiveness measurements. It can also be used for calibration purposes in propagation analysis where we are currently investigating the use of a wideband measurement platform in the form of a fixed wing UAV. The work is being done as part of a masters program involving Stellenbosch University and SKA SA. This platform will have a continuous flying time of close to 2 hours at a minimum ground speed of 30 km/h while carrying a payload of 4 kg. This will enable us to cover significantly larger areas that what can typically be done with other similar measurement systems.    

Short Courses

Given MESA's close links to academia, we have an interest in offering both fundamental and advanced EMC and Metrology training to clients of all backgrounds. Given the importance of accurate pre-compliance testing, MESA has recently presented a dedicated one-day short course on Reverberation Chamber Calibration and Usage.  

Due to Covid-19 in 2020, we experimented with an online, company-specific, short course. If you are are interested in any of these areas, do contact us at,

  • EMI mitigation of all elements concerned with South Africa's Square Kilometre Array (KAT-7 and MeerKAT specifically)

  • Real-time condition monitoring of power lines

  • High speed cable connector design and optimization

  • EMI/EMS investigation and mitigation in systems

  • EMI consultation on the Cahora Bassa HVDC power line

  • South African Navy Corvette EMC investigation

  • Pre-compliance testing using alternative sensors

  • Overhead power line transmission systems

  • Mining systems

  • Product development in connection with office network systems

  • EMC site validation, test planning and result interpretation

  • RFID antenna designs

  • Computational electromagnetic modelling of antenna coupling on navy vessels

Past Activities