Architecturally Integrated RF/EMI Shielding
MCI, Sandia Crest, New Mexico


Sandia Crest (elev. 11,000 ft.) is home to Albuquerque area television and FM/AM stations, numerous commercial two-way radio repeaters, weather radars, electric utility radio systems, Forest Service radios, military base services, other long distance carriers, and several local governments' networks, including public safety and emergency medical services. It is reported to be one of the most crowded electronic sites in the world. It's a tough neighborhood!

As the name implies, the MCI Sandia Crest Junction Station is a crossroads of MCI's principal routes for the western US. Telecommunications traffic between and among the routes is switched in a 96,000 port switch. Neither the point-to-point radios and associated channel banks, nor the electronic switch can function in the extreme electromagnetic conditions found at Sandia Crest.

The operation of the site is made possible by locating the electronic equipment inside a 20,000 square foot building with an architecturally integrated RF shield.

The Howland Company designed the shield for the building using cost-effective, generally available building materials; assisted the contractor with shield-related issues during construction; and performed shielding effectiveness testing of the completed structure. The uninterrupted operation of the site for over 20 years demonstrates the effectiveness of The Howland Company’s shielding and construction techniques.

The Howland Company has provided EMI/RFI solutions to a number of clients at various locations, including:

  • Scientific-Atlanta, Atlanta
  • IBM at White Plains, New York
  • MCI at Huntsville, Texas
  • RCA at Mt. Wilson, California
  • Bechtel Corp. at Los Angeles
  • MCI at Denver
  • Turner Broadcasting, Atlanta
  • RCA at El Segundo and Sunnyvale, California
  • US Army Lifecycle Software Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama
  • RCA at Seattle
  • RCA at Honolulu
  • Savannah Memorial Medical Center, Savannah

But Sandia Crest wins The Howland Company award for most beautiful location for EMI/RFI survey and mitigation:


Sandia Crest - EMI/RFI Nightmare
 --THC Photo by Jim Howland

Integrated EMI Shielding - MCI Sandia Crest
--Image from Bing Maps

Integrated EMI Shielding - MCI Sandia Crest
 --THC Photo by Jim Howland

The view from Sandia Crest
 --THC Photo by Jim Howland