Equipment testing is performed to evaluate lightning threats to electrical equipment and systems, and is a particular requirement for aircraft avionic systems.

Testing is performed with a variety of different waveshapes. The choice of test waveforms, and the level at which they are applied, depends on the nature and source of the transients.


Tests are normally applied both to individual equipment boxes, and to complete working systems. The latter is necessary to evaluate whether lightning transients can cause interrupt or misleading data on critical systems such as cockpit displays, or engine controllers.


As well as the testing service, Cobham also provides advice on choice and application of test methods, test levels and procedures.  Investigative tests can also be carried out to help understand modes of failure, and methods to improve protection. Waveform generators can also be adapted to apply specific, non-standard waveforms.


Test specifications

  • DO-160D, E, F and G Section 22
  • ABD0007, ABD0013
  • CCITT, K17 and 20
  • D100Z001 (Boeing)
  • BXU 7026 (Douglas)
  • IEC 1312
  • EFA SPE-J-1000: LEMP-EFA-1 and 2, NEMP-EFA-1



  • Single-pulse generators
  • Multiple-stroke oscillatory wave
  • Multiple-stroke long wave
  • Combined waveform 1 and 2 (DO-160D to G) generator
  • Multiple burst generator
  • LEMP-EFA-1 / DO-160D to G) waveform 5 up to 30kA




  • Determination of upset or failure thresholds of equipment and systems
  • Testing to Aerospace standards (DO-160/ED-14) and several ground standards
  • Consultancy and investigative testing
  • Advice on selection of waveform(s) and types of test
  • Portable test generators for off-site equipment and systems testing


Application areas

Testing  would be applicable to any electrical equipment for which a demonstration of hardness against lightning induced transients is required. It typically includes;

  • Avionics components and systems
  • Aircraft electrical systems
  • Protection devices
  • PCs , data networks, communications systems
  • Telecommunications
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