Indirect Lightning Testing

Commercial avionics and military domains


Lightning strikes are common phenomena taking place every day around the globe. Besides the easily-observable physical damages that they can produce, lightning strikes can also induce currents and voltages into electric/electronic circuits and cables that connect them. These latter phenomena are generally referred to as indirect effects of lightning.

As avionics industry, both commercial and military, employs nowadays a significant amount of electric and electronic systems, their ability to perform must not be influenced by indirect effects of lightning. Especially systems critical for flight safety must be properly designed and thoroughly tested in order to ensure that the aircraft can be safely operated.

Testing of aircraft systems and subsystems against indirect lightning effects is a relatively complex and laborious process. Different test conditions and requirements are described in standards like DO-160G Section 22 or MIL-STD-461G CS117. Additionally, aircraft manufacturers may define additional test requirements.

EMC PARTNER delivered its first test system for indirect lightning test on avionics systems back in the year 2000. Since then, more than 100 EMC PARTNER systems are working around the world to ensure proper testing of avionics systems and subsystems.

How to perform indirect lightning test?

Indirect lightning test is applicable to airborne equipment in different functional states. The purpose of the test is to simulate indirect effects produced by lightning strike with a test system and observe/asses the behaviour of EUT.

Indirect lightning test generators produce high voltage and high current impulses: waveforms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5A, 5B and 6 may be applied at different levels depending on the location, shielding, protection level of the equipment under test (EUT). The impulses are applied either as single events (single stroke) or trains of pulses (two categories are defined: multiple stroke and multiple burst).

The two main types of tests that can be encountered in standards are pin injection (damage tolerance test) and cable bundle (immunity test).

The connection diagram below exemplifies a test setup for pin injection test, WF3 level 3. The pin tested is energized, hence a decoupling device is utilized.

 

indirectlightning setup

Test equipment

EMC PARTNER provides a very comprehensive and flexible test system, suitable not only to test according to DO-160 or MIL-STD-461G, but also additional aircraft manufacturer standards.

The main components of the test system are:

  • Impulse generators (e.g. MIG0600MS, MIG-OS-MB) and different plugins
  • Couplers (CN-GI-CI, CN-GI-CI-V, CN-MIG-BT3, CN-MIG-BT5 and others)
  • A DO160 LISN for both AC and DC supplied EUTs
  • Measurement probes, calibration accessories
  • Automation software with capability to include oscilloscope screen dumps in the test report.

RTCA DO-160 - Section 19

Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment

RTCA DO-160 - Section 22

Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment

RTCA DO-160 - Section 25

Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment

EUROCAE/ED-14

Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment

Airbus ABD0100-1-2

Different manufacturer standards related to indirect lightning test

Airbus ABD0100-1-8

Generator for DO-160 / ED-14 Section 22 indirect lightning test on aircraft
MIG0600MS

Generator for complete aircraft testing with reduced current amplitude max 5kA, maximum energy 26kJ, WF1 6.4/70µs.
MIG3618SS

Single Stroke Generator according to DO-160 section 22
MIG0600SS

Generator for DO-160 / ED-14 indirect lightning test on aircraft: Single Stroke
MIG0618SS

DO-160 and MIL-STD-461G level 3 indirect lightning generator. All 6 waveforms for PIN, single/multiple stroke and multiple burst.
AVI-LV3

extends MIG-OS-MB to L5+ test levels
MIG-OS-MB-EXT

GENERATOR FOR DO-160 / ED-14 SECTOIN 22 INDIRECT LIGHTNING TESTS ON AIRCRAFT
MIG-OS-MB

Extensions for DO-160 / ED-14 WF6H, 0.224/4µs Impulse. 14 pulses Multiple Burst only.
NW-WF6H-MB

Extends the MIG-OS-MB for single stroke and first stroke testing according DO-160 / ED-14 WF3: 10MHz.
NW-WF3-10M-FS

Impulse forming network for cable bundle testing with waveform 3 1MHz from DO-160
NW-WF3-1M-FS-A350

Extension to MIG-OS-MB(or -EXT) for ABD0100.1.2_G lightning test requirements for single stroke testing
WF2-FS-A350

plug in to the MIG-OS-MB-EXT. Double exponential wave 0.1/6.4 for single pulse generation or first stroke of a multiple stroke sequence
NW-WF2-FS

0.1 ohm current shunt
VERI01 OSI

Capacitive EFT/Burst Coupling Clamp 100pF
CN-EFT1000

Coaxial test tip for pin injection designed for use with MIG-OS-MB and MIG-OS-MB-EXT.
CN-MIG-TT

External Red and Green warning lamps
WARNING-LAMP

Voltage probe for impulses up to 4kV
V-PROBE-PHV

Line impedance stabilisation network for the high voltage and high current application in accordance with DO160 Section 22
DN-LISN160-32

Address

EMC PARTNER AG
Baselstrasse 160
CH - 4242 Laufen
Switzerland