Emission of Radio Frequency Energy

RTCA DO-160 – Section 21.0 – Emission of Radio Frequency Energy


These tests determine that the equipment does not emit undesired RF noise in excess of the levels specified below.
The notches specified in the radiated emissions limits are included to protect aircraft RF sensors operating frequencies.


General Requirements
This section does not measure or control spurious signals conducted out of the antenna terminals of receivers or transmitters. That control should be specified in the equipment performance standard for that receiver or transmitter. Radio transmitters or receiver/transmitters must meet specified emissions requirements (including the selected frequency ±50% of the band of requencies between adjacent channels) while in a nontransmitting or receive mode.
Note: Do not measure radiation emanating from antennas or, in the case of transmitters, any radiation on the selected frequency ±50% of the band of frequencies between adjacent channels while the transmitter is keyed and supplying RF to the load.
The equipment under test shall be set up on a ground plane and operated in accordance with the criteria in Subsection 20.3 subparagraph a and subparagraph b, parts 1, 2 and 5 with the following limitations and additions:
a. For radiated emission measurements as in Subsection 21.5, antenna spacing to the ground plane edge and the EUT spacing from the ground plane edge shall be maintained as shown in Figure 21-11.
b. Interference shall be measured using the peak detector function of the interference measuring equipment. Interference measuring instruments with selectable IF bandwidths (BW) may be used, and the selected BW must be the values given in Table 1.
c. Line Impedance Stabilization Networks (LISNs) shall be used as shown in Figure 21-6. Figure 20-1 provides technical data for a LISN.
d. Power return wires tied locally to the ground plane as noted in Section 20.3.a (6) are not tested.
e. The time constant of the peak detector must be lower or equal to 1/BW. Where applicable, video bandwidths shall be selected to be greater than or equal to the resolution bandwidth.
f. Longer dwell, sweep and measurement times than those shown in Table 1 may be necessary to detect time-varying emissions. Dwell times in Table 1 are associated with a potential rate of variation of approximately 60 Hz.
g. For emission measurements, the entire frequency range for each applicable test shall be scanned. Minimum measurement time for analog measurement receivers during emission testing shall be as specified in Table 1. Synthesized measurement receivers shall step in one-half bandwidth increments or less, and the measurement dwell time shall be as specified in Table 1. Larger receiver bandwidths may be used; however, they may result in higher measured emission levels.
h. Recorded data shall provide a minimum frequency resolution of 1% or twice the measurement receiver bandwidth, whichever is less stringent, and minimum amplitude resolution of 1 dB.
i. Amplitude versus frequency profiles of emission data shall be automatically generated and shall be continuous.
j. Data Required In Test Report – The test report shall include the following test setup and data items.


DO-160 is a standard for environmental test on avionics equipment published by RTCA, the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics. The DO 160 G was amended and now all guideline inside it are replaced by the DO 357.
On our website you can find only some abstracts of the document, for the full text of the guideline you have to purchased it from RTCA.
We remember you that now DO 160 G cannot be read without DO 357.
If you need any interpretation regarding the text of such standard, please contact CELAB.
CELAB is the only Italian (and one of the few European) member of the RTCA Special Committee 135, the commettee for devolpment of DO 160 G.


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