MIL-STD-810 Overview

What is MIL-STD-810?

This standard is an equipment testing standard by the United States Department of defense. It describes in detail testing procedures designed to determine how equipment holds up under a variety of conditions the equipment may encounter while being used, transported and stored. These conditions include temperature, impact, vibration, humidity, and more. Note that while the standard is extensively used for testing of rugged computing equipment, it was not specifically designed for that type of equipment. As a result, some tests are ambiguous when applied to computing equipment.

With MIL-STD-810, which many consider as the rugged standard, it may be more appropriate to think of it as a set of environmental standards, rather than a single specification.


How to Know if a Computer Meets MIL-STD-810?

Because some vendors can be a bit vague, or even misleading when it comes to MIL-STD-810 compliance, here are some questions you should ask the vendor:

  • Which MIL-STD-810 testing methods were used?
  • Which parameters were tested?
  • Was testing done by an independent facility?
  • Has this computer passed field verification trials, or been successfully proven on a mission?

If you have questions about Crystal Group’s product testing or our rugged product line, please contact us or call us at: 877.279.7863.

MIL-STD-810 Explained

Video Transcript: MIL-STD-810 Explained

Hi, Jim Shaw here again at Crystal Group. I wanted to talk just a little bit about MIL-STD-810 and all the tests that it encompasses. First thing you need to know about MIL-STD-810 is its really how to manage, it’s a document about how to manage the testing, it’s also a document about how to tailor the testing, and also a document about how to conduct the procedures for the Mil standards that you are testing. So what is that is that exactly? What are those tests that we’re talking about? It’s really everything from altitude, humidity, vibration, shock, ballistic impact, noise. So the only thing it doesn’t cover would be nuke, chem, bio types of contamination or electromagnetic compliance or compatibility, so EMI types of testing.

Those are separate tests from the MIL-STD-810 but there’s a few things that you need to know about MIL-STD-810 before you just accept what a computer supplier or a server manufacturer says. The first question that you should ask is what test method did you use? What procedures were used? How are they tailored? One of most important questions is can I have a copy of the test report? And a lot of times you get an answer of well, we didn’t actually do the testing, we just designed to.

That’s a telltale sign of potential problems. Always ask for those reports and always look for how was it tested and to what levels. That’s one of the things that is critically important in creating a product that is going to be durable and meet the environmental requirements.