The increasing use of composite materials in the design of the aircraft superstructure, to reduce weight, means that equipment is more vulnerable to lightning strike effects. As a result the test standards have evolved and become more stringent.

For new build aircraft, all equipment supplied must meet Safety of Flight (SOF) criteria, which includes lightning, prior to being installed and then full qualification testing following the SOF assessment phase.

As a complimentary component to our High Level HIRF and Power Quality test capabilities, the flexibility of our lightning test system enables us to provide nearly any waveform transient required by your customer. Element has invested heavily in the highest-specification lightning generators in both the UK and the US, giving unparalleled UKAS and A2LA accredited coverage of the RTCA/DO-160, Airbus, Boeing, and MIL-STD-461G lightning test requirements.

Element’s capabilities include ALL of the RTCA/DO-160D/E/F/G, Section 22 test waveforms and methods, at all test levels 1-5 and higher, including:

  • Pin-injection testing
  • Cable bundle testing -- Single-Stroke, Multiple Burst, Multiple Stroke
Element performs indirect lightning waveforms and test levels that meet all the requirements of:
  • RTCA DO-160 B through E: Environmental Conditions and Test Procedure for Airborne Equipment, Section 22
  • Airbus ABD0100.1.2, Rev E/F/G
  • MIL-STD-461 G
  • Def-Stan 59-41 & 59-411 DCS09.B Category A
  • European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE)  ED-14 (1997): Aircraft Lightning Environment and related Test Waveforms. Report of EURO CAE WG-31 and SAE Committee AE-2
  • ISO 7137 (2001): Aircraft—Environmental conditions and test procedures for airborne equipment.
  • US Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 20-136 (1990): Protection of Aircraft Electrical/Electronic Systems against the indirect effects of lightning.
  • Boeing D6-16050-4/-5/-6 specific and others such as Panavia and Sikorsky 

Additionally, Element is qualified as an independent Boeing witness for EMC and lightning strike testing.  

Lightning test capabilities

We can advise on lightning test methods, test levels, procedures and can also evaluate the threat to your systems and equipment to provide a cost-effective balance between analysis and testing.

  • Testing in compliance with RTCA DO160E, F and G section 22
  • Indirect strike (current and voltage) specified in DO-160E, F and G Section 22. In addition to DO-160, the generator can also meet Air framers Lightning Requirements (Boeing and Airbus) 
Single stroke

Single stroke test is used for damage assessment on avionic sub-systems and equipment. They are divided into PIN injection and cable bundle tests.

Cable bundle tests may be performed using the single stroke method only or using combination of the single stroke, and multiple burst method.

Multiple stroke  

Simulation of a typical lightning strike event includes several high current strokes following the first return stroke.  These occur at intervals of several milliseconds that verify that your product will survive or continue to operate during and after a lightning related event involving the aircraft.

Multiple burst

The multiple burst test is designed to represent the induced effects to internal aircraft wiring in response to an external aircraft lightning strike of a multiple burst nature. The pulses are a burst of transients with random spacing, followed by several repeat bursts, which occur in the induced multiple burst sequence.

Additional Aerospace and Defense Product Testing Services

In addition to EMI/EMC testing, Element offers an extensive range of product qualification testing including environmental simulation, mechanical, safety, structural, operational, functional and performance testing as well as fluid conveyance testing and specialty tests including hail and bird strike, sand/dust, fuel icing and combined environmental and operational reliability testing.

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