RTCA DO-160 Section 7.0 Operational Shock and Crash Safety Testing
The purpose of the RTCA DO-160 operational shock and crash safety test is to determine the ability of equipment to continue to operate during normal aircraft operations. Various shocks can occur during operations. Events such as taxiing, landing, or when the aircraft encounters sudden gusts in flight can cause shocks to the aircraft and its components. Because of the frequency of these occurrences, it is important to test equipment to ensure it will operate within performance standards after exposure to these shocks.
RTCA DO-160 shock testing applies to all equipment installed on fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. The DO-160 test standard specifies two operational shock test curves. The first curve is a standard 11 ms pulse. The second curve is a low frequency 20 ms pulse. The 20 ms pulse may not be adequate to test against the effect of longer duration shocks on equipment that has its lowest resonance frequency below 100Hz. For such equipment, a pulse of 100 ms duration should be considered.
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Why Are RTCA DO-160G Operational Shock Tests Important?
A shock curve can have an adverse impact on equipment. For example, certain equipment could detach from its mountings or separate in a manner that presents a hazard during an emergency landing. This applies to equipment installed in compartments and other areas of the aircraft. If this were to occur, the detached equipment could present a hazard to occupants, fuel systems, or emergency evacuation equipment.
RTCA DO-160 Crash Safety Testing Equipment Categories:
RTCA DO-160 section 7.0 classifies equipment in one of four categories.
RTCA DO-160G Section 7.0 Operational Shock Testing Category A: This category is used to test equipment to what would be considered standard operational shocks. Equipment meeting this description must go through RTCA-DO-160 operational shock testing.
RTCA DO-160G Section 7.0 Operational Shock Testing Category B: This category tests equipment for both standard operational shocks and crash safety. Equipment meeting this description must go through RTCA-DO-160 shock testing.
RTCA DO-160G Section 7.0 Operational Shock Testing Category C: This category tests equipment for low-frequency operational shocks. Equipment meeting this description must go through RTCA-DO-160 crash safety testing.
RTCA DO-160G Section 7.0 Operational Shock Testing Category C: This category tests equipment for both low-frequency operational shocks as well as low-frequency crash safety. Equipment meeting this description must go through RTCA-DO-160 operational shocks and crash safety testing.
It is important to note that the RTCA/DO-160 Section 7.0 tests do not satisfy FAR requirements for all equipment. For instance, items such as seats and seat restraints. For fixed-wing aircraft: a complete installation demonstration must be accomplished. This includes aircraft acceleration loads such as flight maneuvering, gust, and landing.
Crash safety loads, may be accomplished by using the “Unknown or Random” orientations for the “sustained” test procedure. Using a dummy load on the shock test apparatus may be necessary. This ensures that the recorded shock pulse will be within the specified tolerances.
Expert RTCA DO-160 Crash and Shock Testing Laboratory
Keystone Compliance is a leader in shock compliance testing to military standards. As an RTCA DO-160G accredited test lab, we have the experience, equipment, and resources to meet every testing need.
In addition to being accredited to complete RTCA-DO-160G testing, Keystone is also accredited to all previous versions of the standard as well. 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:
- RTCA DO-160 Section 4.0 Temperature and Altitude
- RTCA DO-160 Section 5.0 Temperature Variation
- RTCA DO-160 Section 6.0 Humidity
- RTCA DO-160 Section 8.0 Vibration
- RTCA DO-160 Section 9.0 Explosion Proofness
- RTCA DO-160 Section 10.0 Waterproofness
- RTCA DO-160 Section 11.0 Fluids Susceptibility
- RTCA DO-160 Section 12.0 Sand and Dust
- RTCA DO-160 Section 13.0 Fungus Resistance
- RTCA DO-160 Section 14.0 Salt Spray
- RTCA DO-160 Section 15.0 Magnetic Effect
- RTCA DO-160 Section 16.0 Power Input
- RTCA DO-160 Section 17.0 Voltage Spike
- RTCA DO-160 Section 18.0 Audio Frequency Conducted Susceptibility – Power Inputs
- RTCA DO-160 Section 19.0 Induced Signal Susceptibility
- RTCA DO-160 Section 20.0 Radio Frequency Susceptibility (Radiated and Conducted)
- RTCA DO-160 Section 21.0 Emission of Radio Frequency Energy
- RTCA DO-160 Section 22.0 Lightning Induced Transient Susceptibility
- RTCA DO-160 Section 23.0 Lightning Direct Effects
- RTCA DO-160 Section 24.0 Icing
- RTCA DO-160 Section 25.0 Electrostatic Discharge
- RTCA DO-160 Section 26.0 Fire, Flammability
Modifications from one Version of RTCA DO-160 to the Next:
Changes from DO-160C Shock Testing to DO-160D Shock Testing
Equipment category definitions were added for fixed wing and helicopter installations. Crash Safety levels were identified for helicopters (20g) and increased for fixed wing crash safety levels (20g). Shock pulse was changed from half sine to saw tooth. Half-sine shock pulse curve changed to reflect the saw-tooth profile. Test levels were changed from DO-160C based on empirical data.
Changes from DO-160D Shock Testing to DO-160E Shock Testing
Fixed wing and helicopter operational and crash safety test requirements were made the same.
Changes from DO-160E Shock Testing to DO-160F Shock Testing
Category definitions were revised for clarification. Text description and centrifuge definitions were revised in section 7.3.3 and figure 7.3, respectively, to reflect the correct setup direction for acceleration load.
Changes from DO-160F Shock Testing to DO-160G Shock Testing
Added in Section 7.2.1 “Unless otherwise stated in the EUT specification, the equipment shall be operating, and its temperature stabilized. Apply to the test item three shocks having a terminal saw-tooth wave shape with an acceleration peak value of six (6) g’s in each orientation.”