Many organizations throughout the government as well as private sector companies require Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) or Special Access Program Facilities (SAPF). Note that in this article we will reference SCIF rooms interchangeably between the two. The construction specifications for these facilities are governed by ICD/ICS 705 to meet technical security specifications and best practices for safeguarding these critical facilities.
As methods of snooping and eavesdropping advance beyond simple listening, the requirement for RF and EMI shielding has become both more prevalent and imperative. In this article, we will provide an overview of the importance of RF shielding, its components, and considerations for SCIF rooms and doors.
RF shielding is the process of preventing the transmission or leakage of radio frequency (RF) signals into or out of a secure facility. SCIF rooms are designed to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, and RF shielding plays a crucial role in maintaining the security of these spaces.
RF shielding materials are typically conductive and can include metals like copper, aluminum, or steel. These materials are used to create a barrier that reflects or absorbs RF signals, preventing their passage through walls, ceilings, and floors.
RF gaskets are used to seal any gaps or seams in the SCIF room construction. These gaskets are made from conductive materials, such as conductive silicone or conductive foam, and are placed around doors, windows, ventilation openings, and any other potential areas where RF leakage could occur.
Shielded enclosures are constructed using conductive materials to create a completely enclosed space. These enclosures are designed to provide maximum isolation and can be used for SCIF rooms or as standalone shielded cabinets for equipment or sensitive devices.
RF filters and attenuators are used to control and limit the entry or exit of RF signals. These devices can be employed at various points within the SCIF room’s electrical and communication infrastructure to ensure proper isolation and prevent unauthorized transmission.
SCIF room doors play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of RF shielding. The following features are essential for effective RF shielding:
Access to SCIF room doors should be tightly controlled and monitored, ensuring that only authorized personnel can enter the room and reducing the potential for unauthorized RF transmission.
When implementing RF shielding for SCIF rooms and doors, it is crucial to consider the following factors:
RF shielding should be incorporated into the initial design of the SCIF room and door, including considerations for wall thickness, proper grounding, and installation techniques to minimize RF leakage points.
Regular testing and certification by qualified professionals should be conducted to verify the effectiveness of the RF shielding. This ensures that the SCIF room and door maintain the required level of isolation.
Ongoing maintenance and periodic inspections are necessary to identify and address any issues that may compromise the RF shielding, such as damaged gaskets, corroded conductive materials, or improper sealing.
Gaven Industries has shielded thousands of rooms with the most expertise in RF and EMI shielding in the industry. Our team will provide analysis, design, construction, test and maintenance solutions as a subcontractor or product supplier. For more information, please review our Federal Capabilities Statement.Contact Us