Do You Know the Difference Between the Most Commonly Specified SCIF Standards

ETS-Lindgren's White Paper Provides Guidelines to Ensure a Successful SCIF Project


CEDAR PARK, TEXAS, June 10, 2021 Boasting decades of experience, ETS-Lindgren has designed and installed more than 50,000 Radio Frequency (RF) shielded enclosures for an assortment of applications, including those with security requirements preventing the electronic monitoring of sensitive information.  In recent years, ETS-Lindgren has noticed growing confusion in the industry regarding the design and performance requirements of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF).  This confusion is due in large part to two very different standards being referenced in the same specification for a new SCIF installation.  These two standards include ICD/ICS-705 "Technical Specification for Construction and Management of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities" and NSA 94-106.  Joel Kellogg, ETS-Lindgren's Director of Business Development for Healthcare, Industry, and Government, wrote the white paper "SCIF and Radio Frequency Secured Facility Design" to bring some clarity to these standards and their inherent performance requirements.  Written with an eye to RF shielding, the paper provides design and construction guidelines to ensure a successful SCIF project.


"Referencing both ICD/ICS-705 and NSA 94-106 as part of a SCIF facility can create much confusion in terms of project requirements, resulting in significant performance and cost implications," said Mr. Kellogg.  "Since most general contractors lack expertise in RF shielding, these discrepancies can go unidentified, placing a project at risk of not meeting performance requirements and potentially incurring large cost overruns unless an experienced RF shielding company or consultant gets involved." 


His paper emphasizes the necessity of clearly identifying project requirements to ensure the differences between ICD/ICS-705 and NSA 94-106 are well understood before a design is finalized.  To assist architects and facility managers with their designs, Mr. Kellogg shares his expertise by providing an overview of the two most commonly specified SCIF standards noted above.  He then reviews the SCIF construction methods and RF shielding performance requirements specified in each standard.  The paper's photos and drawings visually illustrate the different construction techniques specified in ICD/ICS-705 and NSA 94-106.  And it addresses in detail the treatment of RF shielded components, including doors, filters, and penetrations such as waveguide air vents a key, but often overlooked, difference between the two standards. Finally, a table conveniently provides a quick comparison of the standards.


Ultimately, the main objective of a SCIF requirement is to assure proper security is in place to prevent the electronic monitoring of sensitive information.  "ICD/ICS-705 is intended to provide a level of security and often takes advantage of distances from the SCIF to the perimeter of a facility, but, by itself, is not RF secure.  However, a facility or space designated to meet NSA 94-106 is RF secure, as it requires a six-sided shielding system, RF doors, penetrations, and filters to achieve the performance objectives set forth in NSA 94-106," Mr. Kellogg stated.  "We understand the importance of security and how to achieve it in a cost-effective manner.  My paper provides some clarity in the differences between these two standards to ensure the success of your SCIF project."  


With the experience gained from 75+ years of installing RF and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielded enclosures for the Government and Defense industries, ETS-Lindgren offers a variety of standard and custom solutions.  Click here for more information on RF shielded enclosures.  ETS-Lindgren also provides a full range of Services, including engineering and consulting, maintenance, and upgrades.  Contact us at or +1 (512) 531-6400 to discuss your SCIF requirements and learn how we can help.  Save the date of Thursday, September 16, 2021, to attend a live webinar with SCIF experts, including Mr. Kellogg. Sign up here to pre-register for the event.


About ETS-Lindgren


ETS-Lindgren is an international manufacturer of components and systems that measure, shield, and control electromagnetic and acoustic energy.  The company's products are used for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), microwave and wireless testing, electromagnetic field (EMF) measurement, radio frequency (RF) personal safety monitoring, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and control of acoustic environments.


Headquartered in Cedar Park, Texas, ETS-Lindgren has manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia.  The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESCO Technologies, a leading supplier of engineered products for growing industrial and commercial markets.  ESCO is a New York Stock Exchange listed company (symbol ESE) with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.  Additional information about ETS-Lindgren is available at  Additional information about ESCO and its subsidiaries is available at


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Janet O'Neil
Marketing Communications
Office:  +1 (512) 531-2676

Cell: +1 (425) 443-8106