Changes In The DO-213 Standard For Commercial Nose-Radome Testing

Authors: Scott T. McBride, Steven R. Nichols, Mike Murphy, Vince Rodriguez, George M. Cawthon

Abstract—“RTCA DO-213 Minimum Operational Performance Standards For Nose-Mounted Radomes” [1] is a document fre-quently referenced in nose-radome testing requirements for commercial aircraft. This document was produced and is maintained by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA). The specifications of weather-radar systems have recently changed within RTCA’s DO-220A [2], and as a result DO-213 was updated to DO-213A [3] in March, 2016, to ensure that radome requirements are consistent with those of the weather radar.

In addition to the new requirements for radome evaluation, several existing requirements were clarified. These clarifications addressed such topics as suitability of near-field measurements, proper procedures and processing, and appropriate measure-ment geometries.

RTCA coordinated the document revision, with the bulk of the technical inputs coming from a broad-based working group. This working group had representatives from radar, aircraft, and radome manufacturers, government agencies, and providers and users of radome-testing systems. When requirements were added or when common practice conflicted with existing require-ments, considerable effort and analysis were employed to ensure that each change or clarification was truly required. Never-theless, DO-213A has some significant impacts to many existing radome-testing facilities.

This paper discusses the significant changes from DO-213 to DO-213A and their implications for radome-testing facilities, concen-trating on after-repair radome electrical testing.


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