Meeting the DO-160
Lightning Protection Standard

If your design is required to survive RTCA/DO-160 lightening effects, it is hard to know where to begin. This white paper offers a top down approach to mitigate the effects of lightning on sensitive electronics.
The discussion reviews RTCA/DO-160, Sections 22 and 23 dealing with protection against direct and indirect lightning effects. The discussion specifically focuses on the challenges faced by designers of COTS embedded designs who must carefully consider the substantial indirect voltage transients due to magnetic or electric field coupling.  The issues involved in lightening direct and indirect effects are thoroughly explained and the applicable RTCA/DO-160 standard is reviewed and summarized. The two types of DO-160 electronics testing are explained in detail.  The paper finishes with a review of design strategies for input/output interfaces and how existing circuitry may be augmented to manage transients from lightening indirect effects. 

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