The second major standard MIL-STD 810G is a series of US Military testing standards which have gained acceptance in industries beyond the military for their methods of objectively determining whether a device is able to withstand things like Drops, Vibrations, Shocks, Dust, Water Immersion, Humidity, Altitude and Temperature extremes.
The MIL-STD testing procedures determine the effect of natural and artificial impact on equipment. Started in 1961, MIL-STD 810 has seen six revisions over the past 45 years (now MIL-STD 810G are valid). Product data sheets often make claims like “designed using MIL-STD 810 test procedures.” Since MIL-STD 810 includes hundreds of testing procedures, each of which tests different types of protection, the mere reference to MIL-STD 810 testing is insufficient. It’s important to know which MIL-STD 810 tests were performed on the unit to determine how rugged it truly is. We are describing the relevant MIL-STD-810 tests below.
LOW PRESSURE: MIL-STD 810G Method 500.5
Low-pressure (altitude) chamber tests determine if materiel can withstand and operate in a low-pressure environment. The test also determines if materiel can withstand rapid pressure changes.
HIGH TEMPERATURE: MIL-STD 810G Method 501.5
This test procedure determines the computers performance during exposure to high temperature conditions. The operational test differs from the storage test in that the computer is conditioned to temperatures determined to be applicable to, or resulting from, exposure in its operational configuration.
LOW TEMPERATURE: MIL-STD 810G Method 502.5
This test determines the performance of the computer during exposure to low temperature conditions. The operational test differs from the storage test in that the computer is conditioned to temperatures determined to be applicable to, or resulting from, exposure in its operational configuration.
TEMPERATURE SHOCK: MIL-STD 810G Method 503.5
Temperature shock tests are conducted to determine if an item can withstand sudden changes in the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere without experiencing physical damage or deterioration in performance.
The two objectives of the temperature shock test are set to determine whether the test item can satisfy its performance requirements and be safely operated after being exposed to sudden changes in temperature of the surrounding atmosphere.
RAIN: MIL-STD 810G Method 506.5
The rain test is conducted to determine if the protective covers or cases effectively prevent rain from penetrating the unit. Also, rain Resistance tests are performed to determine the resistance to rain and wind-driven rain.
HUMIDITY: MIL-STD 810G Method 507.5
The purpose of this method is to determine the resistance of materiel to the effects of a warm, humid atmosphere. Moisture can cause multiple types of physical and chemical deterioration. These include: surface effects such as corrosion and organic growth such as mold and mildew; moisture penetration that changes material properties; and condensation that affects electrical or mechanical performance.
SAND & DUST: MIL-STD 810G Method 510.5
The sand and dust test is divided into two procedures. (a) The small-particle procedure (dust and fine sand) is performed to determine the ability of equipment to resist the effects of dust particles that may penetrate into cracks, crevices and joints. (b) The blowing sand test is performed to determine the ability of equipment to be stored and used under blowing sand conditions. To pass the blowing sand test, there must be no loss of in performance, effectiveness, reliability, and maintainability due to the abrasion (erosion) or clogging effect caused by large, sharp-edged particles.
IMMERSION: MIL-STD 810G Method 512.5
The immersion test is conducted on operating and non-operating units that may be exposed to partial or complete immersion. In some cases this test maybe used in place of the rain test (Method 506.4) to verify a unit is watertight. This is acceptable provided the materiel configuration would be the same for both situations, and the method of water ingress is well understood. However, there are documented situations where the impact of the spray causes a pumping of water across the seals during the rain test. This does not occur in the immersion test, where the seals are held tight against a backing plate by the static pressure. For this reason, both the rain and immersion tests should be performed. Penetration of water into materiel or packaging enclosures can result in multiple problems.
VIBRATION: MIL-STD 810G Method 514.6
Vibration tests are performed to:
a. Develop materiel to function in and withstand the vibration exposures of a life cycle including synergistic
effects of other environmental factors, materiel duty cycle, and maintenance.
b. Verify that materiel will function in and withstand the vibration exposures of a life cycle.
DROP/SHOCK: MIL-STD 810G Method 516.6
Free fall drop tests (shock) are performed to ensure that equipment can withstand the relatively infrequent, non-repetitive shocks or transient vibrations encountered in handling, transportation and service environments.
The standard indicates 26 drops from 1.2 m (4 ft) on 2 plywood using up to 5 units. The specification indicates no temperature.