RTCA DO-160 Section 22

RTCA DO-160 Section 22 covers the transient current and voltage spike introduced into electronics cables as a result of the magnetic field generated by a large surge of charge traveling through the frame of the aircraft. Sometimes called a lightning transient or lightning induced effect.

There are multiple test levels depending on the enviroment ranging from Well-protected environment to Severe electromagnetic environments.

RTCA DO-160 Section 22 Injection Methods:

Pin Injection – This method is used to directly inject the waveform into connector pins of both cables and printed wiring boards 

Cable Bundle Induction – This method uses a coupling transformer to inductively couple the waveform onto the cable bundle 

Ground Injection – This method is often used as an alternate method to inject the waveform onto the ground wire of the unit under test, referenced to the Ground plane that is located on the surface of the test table.

RTCA DO-160 Section 22 Waveforms:

WaveformWaveform TypeSpecifications
W16.4/69Current Wave
W20.1/6.4Voltage Wave
W31MHz/10MHzVoltage Wave
W46.4/69Voltage Wave
W5A40/120Current Wave
W5B50/500Current Wave
W60.25/4 Current Wave

RTCA DO-160 Section 22 Waveform Power Levels

There are five Test Power Levels, where Level 1 is the lowest and Level 5 is the highest.

Level 1

  • Equipment and wiring are installed in a well protected environment

Level 2

  • Equipment and wiring are in a partially protected environment

Level 3

  • Equipment and wiring are in a moderate electromagnetic environment

Level 4 and 5

  • Equipment and wiring are in severe electromagnetic environments

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