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KU Aerospace Short Course Program

RTCA DO-160 Qualification: Purpose, Testing and Design Considerations

Instructor: Franklin Cummins
Printable Course Information (PDF)

Course Schedule

September 11-15, 2017, San Diego, California

Early registration course fee: $2,495 if you register and pay by July 28, 2017

Regular registration course fee: $2,695 if you register and pay after July 28, 2017

San Diego Lodging and Travel Information

You can also bring this course to your workplace. Learn more about our on-site program.


This is an introductory class, designed to educate system engineers, hardware design engineers and test engineers in the aspects of DO-160 as it pertains to the equipment qualification in support of aircraft certification. For system and hardware engineers, the intent is to educate and empower them to develop equipment designs that are compliant with DO-160 by design, and avoid expensive redesigns to correct issues found late in the development cycle during test. For test engineers, it is intended to assist them to properly develop test plans for their products. For each test section of DO-160, we provide purpose; adverse effects; categories; a high-level, step-by-step guide through the test procedure and design considerations for passing the test. Also included is an overview of a top-down requirements management approach (systems engineering); review of related FAA advisory material; an overview of grounding and bonding; wire shielding practices; and lightning protection for composites.

Includes instruction, a course notebook, DO-160G Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment and and RTCA DO-357: User Guide, Supplement to DO-160G, refreshments and lunches.
The course notes are for participants only and are not for sale. This course may be taught by one or both instructors.


  • The aircraft environment
  • Overview of RTCA and DO-160
  • Advisory circular AC 21-16G
  • Requirements, development and management
  • FAA test requirements
  • Pass/fail requirements

Who Should Attend?

This class is designed for system engineers responsible for developing requirements for airborne electronic equipment; hardware design engineers responsible for building such equipment and test engineers responsible for writing test plans.

Times / CEUs

31.50 classroom hours
3.150 CEUs

Certificate Tracks

Aerospace Compliance, Avionics and Avionic Components, Electromagnetic Effects

Learning Objectives

  • The purpose of each test, and the adverse effects that the test is intended to prevent
  • The ability to properly assign test categories and test levels
  • A basic understanding of each test procedure
  • Design considerations to meet the test requirements
  • Test requirements for bot metal and composite aircraft designs

Course Outline

Day One

  • Aircraft environment
  • Overview of RTCA and DO-160
  • Advisory Circular AC 21-16G
  • Requirements development and management
  • Conditions of tests
  • Temperature and altitude
  • Temperature variation
  • Humidity
  • Shock and crash safety
  • Vibration
  • Explosion proof

Day Two

  • Waterproofness
  • Fluids susceptibility
  • Sand and dust
  • Fungus resist
  • Salt fog
  • Icing
  • Flammability

Day Three

  • Magnetic effect
  • Power input
  • Voltage spike
  • Audio frequency conducted susceptibility
  • Induced signal susceptibility

Day Four

  • RF susceptibility
  • RF emission
  • Lightning indirect susceptibility
  • Lightning direct effects
  • ESD

Day Five

  • DO-160 Final Exam
  • Final Team Test Reports
  • What's next in component testing?
  • Final Evaluation

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On-site Contact Information

To learn about bringing a course to your workplace, contact Sarah Williams, on-site program manager, for a no-cost, no-obligation proposal.
Email ProfessionalPrograms@ku.edu
Phone 913-897-8782

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