Full Aircraft HIRF and Lightning Test Services

EMA has been a leader in test, measurement, and simulation for 45+ years. Our full-service HIRF and lightning testing program accelerates schedules and drastically reduces costs.

EMA is capable of full aircraft level HIRF and lightning testing supported by industry recognized experts, including testing and simulation. EMA consultants have decades of electromagnetic environmental effects (E3) testing experience and have supported countless lightning and HIRF evaluations on aircraft large and small. By working with EMA, our accomplished consultants will be your single point of contact from the beginning to the end of the project, leading to better designs and more confidence in your products.

HIRF and Lightning Testing Capabilities

EMA has developed a lightning transient generator to perform aircraft level lightning characterization tests. We can use these tests to verify estimated test and design levels (ETDL), actual transient levels (ATL) with an acceptable margin for Level A systems, characterize current distributions on wiring and structural components, and validate simulations. EMA will travel to your site to make measurements. The process is different for each project and will depend on the goals of the test or lightning verification campaign.

Testing is required for anything that can fly and be struck by lightning. This is true for civil, military, and space applications. Types of aircraft that EMA tests include:

  • Airplanes of all sizes
  • Helicopters
  • eVTOL
  • Aircraft subassemblies
  • Fuel tanks
  • Drones
  • Spacecraft

EMA is able to take voltage, current, or magnetic field measurements and can involve:

  • Using a Component A generator (up to 3kA) and Component H generator (up to 200A) to take current and voltage measurements on pins, cable bundles, and structural components. This provides the necessary inputs for qualification and certification activities.
  • Open circuit voltage and short circuit current measurements for pin test definitions.
  • Cable bundle measurements for multiple burst and multiple stroke environments.
  • HIRF and TPED testing to quantify the internal electromagnetic environment to establish the certification/qualification levels needed for equipment and systems.
  • Laboratory testing for low level arc threshold and qualification campaigns.

HIRF and Lightning Simulation Capabilities

EMA’s simulation capabilities can help you achieve desired performance, service life, and reliability. Our simulations are even more valuable with EMA’s ability to validate the model with in-house testing.

We use simulations in a variety of ways, such as when an aircraft does not yet exist, when ground plane and return conductor system effects complicate full-scale testing and require additional simulation support, and when we need to practically assess a limited set of attachment scenarios, pins, and cables.

Advantages of EMA simulation include:

  • Model validation to support similarity assessments for future variants
  • Reduced test scope
  • Accurate means for troubleshooting design issues during the aircraft life cycle

EMA has developed Ansys EMC Plus for system level E3 including lightning and HIRF. The SAE Aerospace Recommended Practices guidelines list our software solution as a method of determining component level lighting indirect effects transients (SAE ARP5415). Additional E3 that may use EMC Plus are:

  • P-static
  • Avionics design
  • Antenna placement and design
  • Electrostatic discharge
  • Fuel system lightning protection

For a closer look at how EMC Plus works and its advantages, click here. Ansys is the exclusive seller of EMC Plus. To get the software, click here.

Testing Standards

Aircraft lightning characterization tests are required for FAA certification per FAA AC 20-136 and FAA AC 25.954.1. The guidance for aircraft characterization tests can be found in the SAE AE-2 documents (ARP5416, ARP5415, ARP6205). EMA’s capabilities support these tests along with DO-160 and many MIL-STD test campaigns, including 461 and 464.

DER Services

EMA has an on-staff FAA consultant designated engineering representative (DER) to help with your most challenging needs. Our DER is certified in lightning, HIRF, and EMI/EMC with substantial aircraft certification experience working with the FAA and military. This full-service DER is available to assist in any aspect of your program.

Meet our Consultants

Learn more about our consultants by clicking here.

Contact us

We can’t wait to get going on your projects! If you’re ready to start testing or just want to learn a little bit more, contact us by clicking here.