DO-160

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DO-160 / ED-14
Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment
Latest revision December 2010
Prepared by Prepared by SC-135
EUROCAE WG-14

DO-160, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment is a standard for environmental test of avionics hardware published by RTCA, Incorporated.

Outline of contents[edit]

Introduction[edit]

DO-160 cover of 1975 original issue

The DO-160 document was first published on February 28, 1975 to specify test conditions for the design of avionics electronic hardware in airborne systems. Since then the standard has undergone subsequent revisions up through revision G.

Purpose of Standard[edit]

This document outlines a set of minimal standard environmental test conditions (categories) and corresponding test procedures for airborne equipment for the entire spectrum of aircraft from light general aviation aircraft and helicopters through the "Jumbo Jets" and SST categories of aircraft. The purpose of these tests is to provide a controlled (laboratory) means of assuring the performance characteristics of airborne equipment in environmental conditions similar of those which may be encountered in airborne operation of the equipment. The standard environmental test conditions and test procedures contained within the standard, may be used in conjunction with applicable equipment performance standards, as a minimum specification under environmental conditions, which can ensure an adequate degree of confidence in performance during use aboard an air vehicle. The Standard Includes Sections on:

Name Description
Standard conditions
Temperature This checks the effects of temperature on the system. Condensation also can be a factor coming from cold temperatures.
Altitude These tests check the effects (in terms of performance) of altitude, including loss of cabin pressure on the device/system/equipment. Factors tested include dielectric strength, cooling under low pressure, and resilience to rapid change in air pressure. The norm defines the different temperature profiles under which the equipment must be tested. Due to the variety of aircraft, the equipment are classified in categories.
Temperature Variation These tests exercise the assemblies capability of surviving extreme temperature changes and the effects of differing coefficients of thermal expansion.
Humidity These tests under humidity check the effects of high concentrations of humidity and the articles ability to withstand moisture effects. Typically moisture sensitive devices have issues with this test and require conformal coat or other types of protection.
Shock & Crash safety This aircraft type dependent test checks the effects of mechanical shock. Crash safety test insures the item does not become a projectile in a crash. The norm describes the test procedure for airborne equipment.
Vibration Aircraft type dependent test checks the effects of vibration and the equipment's ability to operate during all vibration scenarios.
Explosion proof These tests subject the test article to an environment under vacuum, with a gaseous mixture of combustibles. The unit must operate and be subjected to any actuation including knob turns and button pushes and not ignite the environment.
Water proof These tests subject the test article to various scenarios of dripping water or pooled water to verify the unit will fully operate in the given condition.
Fluids susceptibility Aviation related fluids susceptibility including a variety of fluids ranging from carbonated sugared beverage to various cleaners and solvents.
Sand & Dust These tests subject the unit to an environment of blowing sand and dust of specific particle sizes in which the unit must operate at the end of exposures.
Fungus Resistance This checks the materials for decomposition in warm moist climates.
Salt & Fog This test verifies the test articles ability to survive multiple exposures of salt fog and drying and the environment's ability to cause accelerated corrosion.
Magnetic effect This ensures that the aircraft's compass is not affected.
power input Input power conducted emissions and susceptibility, transients, drop-outs and hold-up. The power input tests simulate conditions of aircraft power from before engine start to after landing including emergencies.
Voltage spike
Audio Frequency Conducted Susceptibility
Induced Signal Susceptibility
RF emission and susceptibility Radio frequency energy: -- radiated emissions and radiated susceptibility (HIRF) via an (Electromagnetic reverberation chamber).
Lightning susceptibility Direct and indirect effects depending on mounting location; includes induced transients into the airframe/wirebundle.
icing
ESD This checks for resilience vs ESD in handling and operation.
Flammability This analysis and test verifies the assembly will not provide a source to fire.

The user of the standard must also decide interdependently of the standard, how much additional test margin to allow for uncertainty of test conditions and measurement in each test.

Version History[edit]

  • RTCA/DO-160', RTCA, INC., February 28, 1975
  • RTCA/DO-160A, RTCA, INC., January 25, 1980
  • RTCA/DO-160B, RTCA, INC., July 20, 1984
  • RTCA/DO-160C, RTCA, INC., December 4, 1989
  • RTCA/DO-160D, RTCA, INC., July 29, 1997
  • RTCA/DO-160D Change 1, RTCA, INC., December 14, 2000
  • RTCA/DO-160D Change 2, RTCA, INC., June 12, 2001
  • RTCA/DO-160D Change 3, RTCA, INC., December 5, 2002
  • RTCA/DO-160E, RTCA, INC., December 9, 2004
  • RTCA/DO-160F, RTCA, INC., December 6, 2007
  • RTCA/DO-160G, RTCA, INC., December 8, 2010

Resources[edit]

  • FAR Part 23/25 §1301/§1309
  • FAR Part 27/29
  • AC 23/25.1309
  • RTCA DO-160

Bibliography[edit]

  • The European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment EUROCAE ED-14

Certification in Europe[edit]

  • Replace FAA with EASA, JAA or CAA
  • Replace FAR with JAR
  • Replace AC with AMJ

See also[edit]

External links[edit]