RTCA DO-160 EMC Testing

Qualification testing for aviation equipment requires the highest level of expertise, equipment, and quality. Count on the Experts at Elite to understand your product, your needs and get your aviation EMC testing completed, on-time and with trusted results.

DO-160 EMC and Environmental Testing

RTCA DO-160 is the industry recognized standard for avionics qualification.  It covers EMC and the evaluation of equipment for power input variations and transients. It also tests for a wide range of environmental stresses.  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)reference DO-160 as the requisite qualification for aircraft certification.  Of the 25 sections listed in DO-160, nearly all are covered by services at Elite.  In addition, aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and others include DO-160 requirements, plus their additional qualification testing and here again, Elite is setup to support these OEM specific requirements.

Elite services for DO-160 and related aviation testing include:

  • Test plans and procedures written by experienced EMC experts.
  • EMC testing to Sections 15-22, and 24 for the most current DO-160G plus all legacy revisions DO-160C/D/E/F.
  • DO-160 EMC, electrical, and environmental stress testing at One Location.
  • Final test reports are recognized and results accepted by all major aircraft OEMs.

DO-160 Facilities, Chambers, Equipment

Our DO-160 EMC testing is performed in state-of-the-art absorber lined shielded chambers (ALSE), reverberation and mode tuned/stirred chambers, as well as several specialty ground-plane test benches.   The amplifiers, receivers, and other equipment used for these tests are the best in the industry and able to perform nearly all tests in Sections 15-22.


Absorber Lined Shielded Enclosures (ALSE)11 ALSE chambers are configurable for DO-160 EMC testing.   Our largest chambers are configurable for testing groups avionics LRUs interconnected for system level testing.  Several chambers include expansive ground planes to position multiple LRUs and to lay0ut harness and cabling for maximum exposure.
Mode Stirred/Tuned Enclosures3 Elite’s “Reverb” chambers are used for High Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF) testing.
Radiated Susceptibility (Section 20)ALSE (CW/SW):  200-400V/m from 10kHz to 40GHz

ALSE (PM): up to 1500V/m from 1-18GHz

Reverb (CW/SW): up to 1000V/m, from 100MHz-18GHz

Reverb (PM): up to 4000V/m from 1-18GHz.

Bench Test Stations8 bench test stations are provisions for lightning tests, electrical loads testing, and various other unique procedures that don’t require a shielded chamber environments.
Power Systems Tests60kW Programmable Power Supplies for DO-160G Section 16.  Voltage variations, dips, interrupts, sags, and other power supply variations.

1500VDC/60A Bi-Directional Power Supply and Load.  800VDC/100A DC supply.

LISNs up to 800VDC and up to 200Amps.

Lightning Test SystemsElite has two Thermo Scientific ECAT Lightning Test Systems (LTS).

Cable InductionRTCA DO-160F/G Waveforms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5a,   Single & Multi-stroke up to Level 5. 

Ground InjectionRTCA DO-160F/G Waveforms 1, 2, 4, 5a,  Single & Multi-stroke up to Level 5. 

Multiple Burst – Waveform 3 (level 5) and 6H (level 3)


Elite- Accredited and Credentialed

ISO 17025 Accredited Test Lab

Elite is ISO 17025 accredited through NVLAP for ALL MIL-STD-461 test methods to deliver high-quality results accepted by U.S. Department of Defense agencies.


iNARTE Certified EMC Engineers

Elite’s staff includes over 21 iNARTE credentialed EMC test engineers to ensure your testing is performed by a trained professional MIL-STD-461 experienced test engineer.


Our RTCA DO-160 Testing Specialists

The rigorous requirements of DO-160 testing require expertise gained from experience. Elite’s industry-leading team of engineers understands the tests and how to apply them to your product.

Adam Grant

Technical Sales / Senior EMC Engineer

Thomas Klouda

Vice President / Director of Engineering

Patrick E. Hall

Military & Aerospace EMC Team Leader

EMC Testing Technical Information

What is the RTCA DO-160?

The DO-160 standard was developed by RTCA to ensure airborne equipment meet the airworthiness requirements for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. DO-160 includes 23 sections of test methods covering all aspects of the aircraft environment from temperature, altitude, shock, and vibration to RF emissions, lightning effects, and flammability.

The current revision is DO-160G and it has become a common testing standard recognized throughout the aerospace industry. Before DO-160, aerospace manufacturers could each require different sets of tests to verify proper equipment operation onboard their aircraft. Currently, the U.S. FAA recommends DO-160G testing for many equipment types used on aircraft. Elite regularly participates in the DO-160 development committee to provide input on the latest test methods and technology considerations.

What is HIRF?

A high-intensity radiated field (HIRF) is radio-frequency energy of a strength sufficient to adversely affect either a living organism or the performance of a device subjected to it. A microwave oven is an example of this principle put to controlled, safe use.  Radio-frequency (RF) energy is non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation – its effects on tissue are through heating. Electronic components are affected via rectification of the RF and a corresponding shift in the bias points of the components in the field.


How is Lightning Tested on Aircraft?

DO-160 testing applies to most airborne equipment and is directly referenced as a means of verifying compliance with numerous regulatory requirements. As stated in Section 1.0, “the test categories defined in DO-160 are intended to encompass the full spectrum of environmental conditions that airborne equipment may experience – from benign to very hostile” and “some of the environmental conditions and test procedures contained in DO-160 are not necessarily applicable to all airborne equipment.” Ultimately, it is the specific performance standards that determine which test categories are required to your product.

How can we help you accomplish your goals?

If your product will be used on commercial or military aircraft, please contact us to review your product’s category and application. Our experts will collaborate with you to identify the right testing to prove airworthiness of your airborne equipment.

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Other EMI/EMC Testing Services

Lightning, HIRF &, High Power Testing

Elite experts can also develop customized methods and equipment for almost any electrical transient wave shape required.

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Environmental Stress Testing

We provide a full range of environmental stress testing and have the validation tools required for equipment & materials of many types.

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MIL-STD-461 Testing

Elite is uniquely equipped to provide MIL-STD-461 Military EMC Testing with our over 60 years of experience.

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