Military Embedded Systems

Complying to MIL-STD-461 and RTCA-DO-160 in Aerospace and Defense Applications 


March 10, 2022

Complying to MIL-STD-461 and RTCA-DO-160 in Aerospace and Defense Applications Aerospace and defense applications such as fighter jets and attack helicopters require that electronic systems meet stringent MIL-STD-461 and RTCA DO-160 requirements for electromagnetic interference (EMI), electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and other environmental conditions.  Preparing to test systems for compliance to these standards is a complicated process.  
This informative whitepaper guides readers through a comprehensive set of questions and considerations to chart their path to compliance.  From selecting a test laboratory to choosing proper power cables, establishing necessary precautions, and more – it’s all covered.    

Critical topics include: 

  • Selecting a test laboratory 
  • Establishing a test procedure 
  • Considering required testing methods 
  • Defining responsibilities 
  • What goes into the test?  
  • Ensuring the proper bonding and grounding provisions  
  • Choosing interface cables  
  • Finding the proper power cables 
  • Ensuring availability of applicable electrical and mechanical loads 
  • Defining necessary precautions 
  • Ensuring proper support equipment and isolation 
  • Establishing the pass/fail criteria 
  • Determining an escape plan  
  • How to create a solutions kit  

Reviewing this “checklist” will identify several preparation topics and give details regarding why that topic needs to be part of your “Ready for Test” plan. Although the focus of this article is MIL-STD-461 and RTCA-DO-160, the preparation discussion can be applied to virtually any test program.

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