How We Ruggedize

A clear advantage.

Harsh environments, extreme elements, critical infrastructure, and safety-critical and mission-critical applications call for rugged and reliable solutions. Crystal Group has the answer.

Crystal Group products are built from the ground up to work reliably and last – even in the roughest terrains, toughest applications and most extreme environments.

Crystal Group has a strong reputation and proven track record for delivering rugged, reliable, high-performance and high-availability computer and electronics systems – over 30 years and across 500+ programs.



Crystal Group is the trusted industry partner of choice for rugged, high-availability, and high-performance computer and electronics products, quality services, and industry-leading warranties.

Company engineers have perfected system design and development techniques to help extend operational life, boost performance, and increase reliability, thereby bringing a clear advantage to partners, clients, and projects.

Crystal Group provides some of the most rugged and reliable products on the market today through a combination of key techniques:

  • Stabilizing components that are susceptible to damage from shock and vibration
  • Increasing air flow to hot components
  • Using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and open architecture technologies, rugged enclosures and transit cases, and quality materials and components
  • Improving the conductive and convective heat transfer mechanisms of components to extend the thermal limits of COTS motherboards
  • Offering industry-leading warranties and support



The average electronics enclosure may be suitable for stationary, temperature-controlled office environments, but these average enclosures have been proven time and time again to be inadequate for mobile and harsh-environment applications on the ground, at sea, or in the air or space. Whereas the average chassis can expose critical electronics to the elements, Crystal Group’s rugged chassis protects components and systems from water and humidity, dust and dirt, temperature extremes, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and more.

Crystal Group rugged chassis stand apart from and go above and beyond the rest. The company’s all-aluminum rugged chassis boasts side walls constructed from thick 6000-series aircraft aluminum, support structures inside and on the front and rear plates made from milled plate stock, and a base plate structurally bonded and mechanically fastened to the side walls.  The all-aluminum construction helps to limit weight, improves thermal conductivity and vibration performance, enhances electrical conductivity for EMI, and is designed to meet MIL-STD-810, MIL-STD-461, MIL-S-901D, and MIL-STD-167-1 specifications.

Crystal Group rugged carbon-fiber chassis are a popular choice for airborne and land-based applications. The high-strength, ultra-lightweight enclosures provide protection against EMI, shock, and vibration, and are available in 1U to 3U rack mount form factors.

Crystal Group’s rugged chassis are available off-the-shelf in industry-standard form factors and can be custom-engineered to meet exact specifications.



All of Crystal Group’s RS chassis have been designed to pass MIL-STD-461E and F with the proper filtering kits installed. Crystal uses spread spectrum clocking technologies to provide additional margin for compliance as well as specific shielding and filtering techniques to meet these requirements.

Crystal Group designed the chassis from 6061T-651 aluminum and coated it with a trivalent chromate, which maintains the electrical conductivity of the chassis, thereby creating low impedance interfaces. Additional corrosion protection can be obtained using eNi plating if necessary.

An underlying objective in EMI suppression is to maximize very low impedance grounding around the perimeter of covers. Spacing between fasteners are considered slit antenna radiators if there is not a metal to metal low impedance path. This also requires that overlapping seams be included in the design.

The only approach to solving the problem is few gaps with low impedance short to ground in the EMI circuit. This design limits gaps and reduces contact resistance by utilizing adequate screw spacing to prevent radiated emissions.

Additionally the compartmentalization of the interior components (hard drive, CD ROM, Power supply, CPU) using thick aluminum interior bracing helps to constrain emissions. Custom filtering on the input side of the design manages the conducted emissions.

Test reports are available from your business development manager.



Currently, Crystal is producing 1U, 2U, 3U, and  4U rugged servers with various configurations. The design accommodates ATX and eATX motherboard formats with dual LGA1366 (Nehalem & Westmere Class), LGA2011 R3 (Haswell & Broadwell) options, with up to 1TB Register RAM.




When you purchase a complete, integrated system from Crystal Group, it leaves our facility with a full, standard five-year warranty.

Crystal Group also offers extensions to the standard warranty program which may be purchased and go into effect the first day after the original warranty period expires. Up to ten additional standard warranty years are available for purchase.

If you’re looking for more hands-on help, Crystal Group’s Gold Service can be added to our standard warranty.