THIS GREEN ALERT IDENTIFIES SAFE WORK PRACTICES
21 AUG 97
 
TESTING OF AN/SPS-48E RADAR ON USS CARL VINSON
 
The AN/SPS-48E is a high power air search radar used by the US and NATO navies. 
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Test Engineering Code 246 personnel are testing radar systems on the USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70). Radar systems emit Radio Frequency (RF) radiation, which is known to affect sensitive electronic equipment. Workers have noticed the effect of this testing on pagers, computer systems, security systems and radios. This has raised a concern from some employees that they may be harmed by the current testing. This Alert is to assure workers that there is no risk to their health by the current testing.
 
The large rectangular antenna (AN/SPS-48E) forward of the mast is the antenna affecting some electronic components. It is only radiating when it is rotating, but at times it is rotating without radiating from the antenna.
 
Employees working in the Controlled Industrial Area (CIA) can expect to work in areas where RF exposure occurs. These RF exposures do not exceed the permissible exposure limit (PEL) established by DOD INST 6055.11 for the protection of personnel at any accessible location. These limits are conservatively set and are safe for continuous or long-term exposure.
 
The following evaluations have been performed to assure personnel are not being exposed above the allowable exposure levels:
 
1.      The AN/SPS-48E radar on the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) was evaluated by the Naval Surface Warfare Detachment Dahlgren (NSWCDD). Survey results showed RF exposures to be below allowable exposure levels.
 
2.      The Fleet Combat Development and Implementation Team (FCDIT) confirmed that there is no RF health hazard at any accessible location from rotating AN/SPS-48E radar unit.
 
3.      Code 106.22 monitored RF exposure on 18 and 19 August 1997, during CVN 70 testing, and found exposures to be well below the allowable levels for continuous occupancy.
 
Please contact John Baze, Code 106.22, at 6-7895 if you have any questions concerning occupational health concerns associated with RF exposure.
 
/s/
R.M. SHIPLEY
Director
Environment, Safety and Health Office