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Accelerate Avionics Power Input Testing

2021-09-14  |  3 min read 

Test operators in the avionics industry face significant challenges in conducting power input testing. One challenge is that all aircraft electrical components must follow the RTCA/DO-160 and the MIL-STD-704 international standards. For example, the power input test in RTCA/DO-160 Section 16.0 defines the test conditions and procedures for AC and DC electrical power applied to the terminals of the equipment under test. It covers the following electrical power supplies:

•    14 VDC, 28 VDC, and 270 VDC
•    115 Vrms and 230 Vrms at either a nominal 400 Hz frequency or over a variable frequency range, including 400 Hz

The complexity of civilian and military test standards makes it challenging to effectively complete the pre-compliance tests on the input power and can be a significant obstacle for the product qualification team. These tests often require dedicated equipment and employees with specialized training. Over time, the evolving requirements can make testing with only internal resources difficult and can result in the use of an external lab. External labs can be costly and time-consuming.  

A compact 3-phase AC source such as the Keysight AC6900 with an output frequency of 5kHz and DC capabilities is ideal for avionic standard tests. Also, Keysight’s intuitive PathWave avionics software solution enables seamless execution of the power input test for the RTCA/DO-160 and the MIL-STD-704 standards. This capability accelerates the pre-compliance test processes and eliminates test failures, saving customers time and money. In addition to pre-compliance testing, the AC6900 can also support:

•    Testing instrumentation and automated test equipment (ATE) stations
•    Simulating power interruptions on cockpit electronics
•    Evaluating window heating systems

Keysight’s AC6900 three-phase AC power source solves avionic power input test challenges and provides a complete AC and DC power solution. The AC6900 combines the capabilities of a multimeter, harmonic analyzer, and power analyzer. In addition, operators can run and execute tests remotely, easily configure test plans to meet their needs, and export test reports.

For more information on the AC6900, visit