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RTCA DO-160 Section 23.0 Lightning Direct Effects

The RTCA DO-160 Section 23 determines the ability of equipment to survive the direct effects of a lightning strike. This test standard applies to externally mounted equipment. This equipment includes any devices mounted externally to the main skin of the aircraft. It includes all equipment that is covered only by a dielectric skin or fairing. Other inclusions include connecting cables and related terminal equipment furnished by the equipment manufacturer as part of the equipment.

Our expert laboratory engineers provide constant communication and assistance during the troubleshooting process. Request a quote to see why hundreds of manufacturers trust Keystone each year with their military certification and compliance testing needs.

Summary of RTCA DO 160 Section 23.0 EMC Testing

This section of RTCA-DO-160G excludes the effects of certain events. For instance, voltages and currents are induced into the externally-mounted equipment and its associated circuitry by way of electric or magnetic field coupling. These events are covered by RTCA/DO-160 Section 22.

The RTCA DO-160 testing standard specifies certain equipment that must meet the requirements of this section. This equipment includes antennae, exterior lights, air data probes, and external sensors. Also included are anti-ice and de-ice equipment which are mounted external to the structure (i.e. electrically heated anti-ice boots), magnetic fluid level indicators, fuel filler caps, and drain valves.

Just as important, the RTCA-DO-160G test standard lists equipment typically not covered by Section 23. This equipment includes equipment that is an integral part of the aircraft structure. These parts can include heated or unheated windshields. Also includes are electrically de-iced leading edges where the de-ice system is an integral part of the leading-edge structure or is enclosed by the leading-edge structure. Other equipment not included is externally mounted equipment that is protected by dielectric coverings. This equipment is specific to the aircraft structure and not integral to the equipment itself.

Components such as these previously mentioned are typically addressed and/or tested as a part of the airframe lightning certification program specified by the aircraft manufacturer. They can also be tested or by other test methods appropriate to the component being qualified.

Two types of direct effects tests can be completed by an RTCA DO-160G test lab. The first test is a high voltage strike attachment test and the other is a high current physical damage test. The high voltage strike attachment test is used to determine likely lightning attachment locations on the test object. The high current physical damage test is used to determine the damage that may occur to the test object during a lightning channel attachment to or near the test object.

The high current physical damage test can be used to assess several conditions. These include arc root damage, hot spot formation, melt-through behavior, adequacy of protection, and the behavior of joints (sparking and damage). Other conditions to asses include the level of voltage and current induced on electrical conductors interfacing with the test object.

Expert EMC/EMI RTCA DO-160 Section 23.0 Laboratory Testing

Keystone Compliance is one of the leading EMC test labs in the country. With seven EMC test chambers and a substantial amount of test equipment, we offer short lead times on scheduling. Our engineers provide communication throughout the entire test program. If challenges arise during the testing, our engineers will provide engineering guidance and problem resolution. Our lightning lab is 17025 accredited to RTCADO-160 testing. In addition to providing RTCA-DO-160G testing, Keystone is accredited to all previous versions of this military test standard as well.

Our EMC-EMI test lab can accommodate small and large items. Please contact us to see firsthand why so many manufacturers rely on Keystone Compliance to be their RTCA DO-160 test lab.

Looking for other testing to other sections of RTCA DO-160 testing? Click on the links below:

Modifications from one Version of RTCA DO-160 to the Next:

Changes from DO-160C Lightning Testing to DO-160D Lightning Testing

Additional procedure with associated electrode was provided for producing flashover when flashover is not produced during the normal procedure and it is desired that flashovers occur.

Changes from DO-160D Lightning Testing to DO-160E Lightning Testing

No significant changes were made.

Changes from DO-160E Lightning Testing to DO-160F Lightning Testing

Clarification of test waveforms and methods has been added throughout the section.  Category designations have been added to separate voltage and current tests. Category designations have been clarified, and Category F was deleted.

Changes from DO-160F Lightning Testing to DO-160G Lightning Testing

No changes were made.