What is DO-160 by RTCA?
Editorial Team - EMC Directory
The RTCA/DO-160 has served as a benchmark for environmental testing standards since 1958.
It describes certain environmental qualification tests for aerospace equipment. The RTCA DO-160G standard defines a set of environmental tests that are used to qualify airborne equipment for installation in aircraft. It also includes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)/other international regulations for avionics equipment. It was released in December 2010.
Some of the test categories included in RTCA DO-160G are described as follows:
1. Temperature & Altitude Tests:
Temperature testing evaluates how well the equipment can perform across a spectrum of temperatures. This includes extreme cold and hot conditions that the equipment may encounter during its operation. The specific aspects covered in temperature testing may include:
Altitude testing focuses on the equipment's performance at different altitudes above sea level. It ensures that the equipment can function correctly even in environments with varying air pressures. The key elements of altitude testing may include:
2. Humidity Tests:
These tests include humidity tests like operational and storage humidity.
3. Vibration Tests:
4. Waterproofness Tests: These tests ensure that the equipment is protected from water ingress.
5. Acceleration/Deceleration Tests: These tests assess how the equipment responds to rapid changes in speed, such as during takeoff and landing.
6. Crash Safety Shock: Crash safety shock tests simulate the impact forces experienced during a crash or emergency landing to ensure the equipment's structural integrity
7. Explosive Atmosphere Tests:
8. Sand and Dust Tests:
9. Fungus Resistance Tests: These tests determine how well the equipment resists fungal growth, which can be a concern in humid or damp conditions.
10. Salt Spray Tests: These tests are designed to ensure that the equipment can withstand exposure to saltwater mist, which causes corrosion.
11. EMI Tests:
12. Induced Signal Susceptibility: Induced signal susceptibility tests evaluate how well the equipment resists interference from external electromagnetic sources
13. Power Input Tests: Power input tests verify the equipment's performance under varying power input conditions, such as voltage fluctuations
14. Voltage Spike and Surge Tests:
15. Audio Frequency Tests:
16. Radio Frequency (RF) Susceptibility Tests: RF susceptibility tests assess how the equipment responds to radio frequency interference and ensure its proper functioning in the presence of RF signals which are mainly Continuous Wave(CW), Square Wave AM (SW) and Pulse Modulated (PM) in their characteristic nature.
17. Lightning-Induced Transient Susceptibility Tests: These tests confirm if the equipment withstands lightning strikes. The tests can be split into categories:
The lightning strikes are generated using high-voltage pulse generators. Testing is done in shielded chambers.