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May 7, 2007                                                  Volume 4, Number 3


NIAR opens first environmental test laboratory

The National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University announces the opening of its first environmental test laboratory. The Susceptibility Test Lab performs testing to provide RTCA DO-160 certification for the following sections:

Section 15
: Magnetic Effects
Insures aircraft equipment can operate properly within the magnetic
       field of another aircraft system or equipment.

Section 16: Power Input

Performs various test that could be susceptibility causes to the AC or DC power inputs to aircraft systems or equipment.

Section 17: Voltage Spike

Determines whether the aircraft systems or equipment can withstand the effects of voltage spikes arriving at the equipment power leads.

Section 18: Audio Frequency Conducted Susceptibility

Determines whether the equipment will accept frequency components of a magnitude normally expected when the equipment is installed in the aircraft.

Section 19: Induced Signal Susceptibility

Determines whether the equipment interconnect circuit configurations will accept a level of induced voltages caused by the installation environment.

Section 25: Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)     

Determines the immunity or the ability of the equipment to perform its intended function without permanent degradation of performance as a result of an air discharged electrostatic pulse.


The lab hosted its first customer, ICE Corporation of Manhattan, Kans., Friday April 27. Arlie Stonestreet II, ICE’s Chief Design Engineer, was impressed with the lab, complimenting its equipment and experienced and knowledgeable test engineers.


“At last, with NIAR we have a world-class EMC and environmental test facility with capabilities that eclipse even the best private and military facilities,” he said. “ICE will now be able to perform all future qualification and certification testing at a single facility rather than working with multiple facilities.”


The Susceptibility Test Lab is one of several environmental test labs designed to provide DO-160 certification that will open at NIAR duriing the next nine months. The Indirect Effects Lightning Test Lab will open later this month.


DO-160 is a set of guidelines developed by the Radio Technical Commission on Aeronautics. DO-160 certification is not a requirement, but it is recommended.

RTCA, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit corporation that develops consensus-based recommendations regarding communications, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) system issues. RTCA functions as a Federal Advisory Committee. Its recommendations are used by the Federal Aviation Administration as the basis for policy, program and regulatory decisions and by the private sector as the basis for development, investment and other business decisions.

NIAR is an associate member of the RTCA.


For more information about NIAR’s environmental testing capabilities, contact Wade Davis.


The National Institute for Aviation Research is a prestigious state-of-the-art aerospace research and development laboratory with global reach and expertise in research, design, testing, and certification. The Institute’s clientele includes many of the world’s aerospace manufacturers, NASA and the FAA. It is the largest aviation R&D academic institution in America.  The National Institute for Aviation Research is an unincorporated division of WichitaStateUniversity.


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