DO-160 - Wikipedia


DO-160 DO-160, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment is a standard for the environmental testing of avionics hardware. It is published by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA).

Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment

Contents Outline of contents Introduction Purpose Version History Resources Bibliography Certification in Europe See also External links

Cover of original 1975 issue

Outline of contents



Year started


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

Latest version

G December 2010

undergone subsequent revisions up through Revision G.

Organization RTCA





RTCA SC-135 (http://

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 supersonic transport 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:



Abbreviation RTCA DO-160 EUROCAE ED-14




Standard conditions Temperature

This checks the effects of temperature on the system. Condensation also can be a factor coming from cold temperatures.


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.



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.



Aircraft type dependent test checks the effects of vibration and the equipment's ability to operate during all vibration scenarios.


Explosion proofness

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 proofness

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 tests determine whether equipment material is adversely affected by fungi under conditions favorable for their development, namely, high humidity, warm atmosphere and presence of inorganic salts.


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

This test determines whether equipment can withstand the effects of voltage spikes arriving at the equipment on its power leads, either AC or DC.


Audio Frequency Conducted Susceptibility

This test determines whether the equipment will accept frequency components of a magnitude normally expected when the equipment is installed in the A/C. These frequency components are normally harmonically related to the power source fundamental frequency.


Induced Signal Susceptibility

This test determines whether the equipment interconnect circuit configuration will accept a level of induced voltages caused by the installation environment. This section relates specifically to interfering signals related to the power frequency and its harmonics, audio frequency signals, and electrical transients that are generated by other on-board equipment or systems and coupled to sensitive circuits within the EUT through its interconnecting wiring.

20.0 and 21.0

RF emission and susceptibility

Radio frequency energy: -- radiated emissions and radiated susceptibility (HIRF) via an (Electromagnetic reverberation chamber).

22.0 and 23.0

Lightning susceptibility

Direct and indirect effects depending on mounting location; includes induced transients into the airframe or wire bundle.



This test determine performance characteristics for equipment that must operate when exposed to icing conditions that would be encountered under conditions of rapid changes in temperature, altitude and humidity.



This checks for resilience vs ESD in handling and operation.



This analysis and test verifies the assembly will not provide a source to fire.


Website (http://www. ?contentid=91)

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 RTCA/DO-160, RTCA, INC., February 28, 1975 RTCA/DO-160 A, RTCA, INC., January 25, 1980 RTCA/DO-160 B, RTCA, INC., July 20, 1984 RTCA/DO-160 C, RTCA, INC., December 4, 1989 RTCA/DO-160 C, Change 1, RTCA, INC., September 27, 1990 RTCA/DO-160 C, Change 2, RTCA, INC., June 19, 1992 RTCA/DO-160 C, Change 3, RTCA, INC., May 13, 1993 RTCA/DO-160 D, RTCA, INC., July 29, 1997 RTCA/DO-160 D Change 1, RTCA, INC., December 14, 2000 RTCA/DO-160 D Change 2, RTCA, INC., June 12, 2001 RTCA/DO-160 D Change 3, RTCA, INC., December 5, 2002 RTCA/DO-160 E, RTCA, INC., December 9, 2004 RTCA/DO-160 F, RTCA, INC., December 6, 2007 RTCA/DO-160 G, RTCA, INC., December 8, 2010 RTCA/DO-160 G Change 1, RTCA, INC., December 16, 2014

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

Bibliography Aircraft Systems: Mechanical, Electrical and Avionics Subsystems Integration (Aerospace Series (PEP)) (Jun 3, 2008) by Ian Moir and Allan Seabridge RTCA List of Available Documents, RTCA Inc., (March 2013) Avionics: Development and Implementation (Electrical Engineering Handbook) by Cary R. Spitzer (Hardcover - Dec 15, 2006) Avionics Navigation Systems (April 1997) by Myron Kayton and Walter R. Fried The European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment EUROCAE ED-14

Certification in Europe Replace FAA with EASA, JAA or CAA Replace FAR with JAR Replace AC with AMJ

See also Environmental Tests Avionics Hazard analysis RTCA/DO-254 ARP4761 ARP4754 HIRF Reliability (semiconductor) MIL-STD-810 RTCA/DO-178B

External links Official website ( Video Tutorial ( by Retrieved from ""

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DO-160 - Wikipedia

DO-160 DO-160, Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment is a standard for the environmental testing of avionics hardware. I...

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