MIL-STD-810 seeks to tailor the design of various military equipment components to the environment and extreme real-world conditions that they will face throughout their lifetime. It’s updated and managed by a group of civilian contributors and military members involved in evaluating current-day technology, usage applications, and trends of military systems.

Read on to learn more about MIL-STD-810 and its role in ruggedized power supplies for military defense, aerospace, and naval sectors.


History of MIL-STD-810

On June 14th, 1962, The U.S. Department of Defense released MIL-STD-810, a standard for environmental engineering considerations and laboratory tests. MIL-STD-810 is widely accepted as the standard for compliance and ruggedization testing for computers and electronic equipment.

The first edition consisted of a single sentence that allowed modifications to tests based on environmental stresses. Over the next few decades, MIL-STD-810 went through several revisions, which evolved into today’s series of standardizations. Each revision was given an alphanumeric designation that started with MIL-STD-810A and is now up to MIL-STD-810H as of September 2021.

It’s important to note that MIL-STD-810 does not impose test or design specifications. Instead, it seeks to describe the real-world environmental tailoring process resulting in test methods and realistic material designs based upon material system performance requirements.

  • Part 1—The first section discusses the tailored and disciplined approach needed to procure a system. The goal is to determine if a product can withstand the stresses of vibration, shock, and climatic environments when used during its service life.

It also focuses on describing the tailoring process (detrimental effects environmental factors could have upon equipment during its service life) and applies it throughout the life cycle of the equipment so that it meets interoperability and user needs.

  • Part 2—The second section provides guidance on environmental stress data, laboratory test methodologies, and tailoring information. It describes 28 different test methods that help the test engineer by listing the preferred procedures and laboratory test facilities.

However, the end-user needs to realize that laboratory testing results and actual service conditions can vary significantly. This is inherently due to the fact that real-world environmental stresses cannot be accurately or reliably reproduced in the lab.

  • Part 3—The third section offers planning guidance for real-world climatic conditions that can occur in research, development, testing, and evaluation stages. Part 3 seeks to provide consideration for the entire life cycle throughout many different climatic regions.

It contains several climatic data guides from various sources, such as AR 70-38, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation of Material for Extreme Climatic Conditions (1979), Environmental Factors and Standards for Atmospheric Obscurants, Climate, and Terrain (1987), and MIL-HDBK-310.


Testing Requirements in MIL-STD-810

The MIL-STD-810 environmental test methodology is intended to determine the environmental worthiness and durability of components, products, or systems. There are currently 28 categories of laboratory test methods and procedures that pertain to the application environment of the equipment.

Tests can be conducted in a natural environment, laboratory, or a combination thereof. Once the tests are completed, the data is examined and reported per program guidelines and according to material specifications. Each test receives a final test report and analysis of the results.

Common test methods include vibration and ballistic shock. These tests seek to simulate the damaging effects of drops, shock, and jolts that can occur when out in the field or in transit. The tests can only be completed with a vibration table and shock machine in the lab.

Temperature & Humidity are two significant parts of MIL-STD-810 testing. The 501.7 high temperature and 502.7 Low-temperature tests are two of the most common methods under MIL-STD-810 Temperature Testing. The 503.7 Temperature shock test is also essential because it looks at a fast transition time between high and low temperatures.

In addition to temperature, humidity can also affect the performance of a power supply. MIL-STD-810 Humidity – Method 507.6 helps test the performance of power supplies that may be stored or deployed in a warm environment with high humidity. It can also be used to provide an indication of potential problems associated with humidity.

There are many other types of tests as well, such as

  • Acoustic Noise
  • Rain
  • Corrosion
  • Solar radiation
  • Contamination

For a complete list of MIL-STD-810 Laboratory Test Methods, please scroll down at the end of this document.

Products that successfully complete the tests are then given a designation, such as MIL-STD-810G or MIL-STD-810H. When procuring a product, such as a ruggedized power supply or ground defense power systems, it’s essential to look at the intended operating environment in conjunction with the various tests performed. Each test is highly specific and will provide you with a good idea of the ideal application.


MIL-STD-810 and Ruggedized Power Supply

Ruggedized power supplies need to be durable enough to withstand the harshest environmental operating theaters worldwide. This is because military applications are subject to extreme stresses that require a product with increased reliability, durability, and ruggedness.

A ruggedized power supply needs to perform seamlessly in the field and endure long use cycles with little maintenance or downtime. When a ruggedized power supply successfully goes through the MIL-STD-810 test standards, it becomes compliant and can be used with confidence in the military.


Which Ruggedized Power Supply is Right for Your Application?

At Viable Power, we build custom-designed, highly reliable power conversion solutions at a reasonable cost. We use proprietary ESS control hardware that can monitor and test up to 4 units at a time—for both thermal cycling and vibration. Viable can also perform temperature testing, humidity testing, and vibration testing as per MIL-STD-810.

Our rapid turnaround times, 6 to 12 months, coupled with our small to medium scale quantity (1-1,000) and thorough in-house testing in accordance with MIL-STD-810 make us the ideal choice for your ruggedized power supply needs.

Please contact us for more information on our custom AC-DC power supply units and custom DC power supply units that meet MIL-STD-801 requirements.


MIL-STD-801 Laboratory Test Methods

  • 500.6 Low Pressure (Altitude)
  • 501.7 High Temperature
  • 502.7 Low Temperature
  • 503.7 Temperature Shock
  • 504.3 Contamination by Fluids
  • 505.7 Solar Radiation (Sunshine)
  • 506.6 Rain
  • 507.6 Humidity
  • 508.8 Fungus
  • 509.7 Salt Fog
  • 510.7 Sand and Dust
  • 511.7 Explosive Atmosphere
  • 512.6 Immersion
  • 513.8 Acceleration
  • 514.8 Vibration
  • 515.8 Acoustic Noise
  • 516.8 Shock
  • 517.3 Pyroshock 
  • 518.2 Acidic Atmosphere
  • 519.8 Gunfire Shock
  • 520.5 Combined Environments
  • 521.4 Icing/Freezing Rain
  • 522.2 Ballistic Shock
  • 523.4 Vibro-Acoustic/Temperature
  • 524.1 Freeze / Thaw
  • 525.2 Time Waveform Replication
  • 526.2 Rail Impact
  • 527.2 Multi-Exciter Test
  • 528.1 Mechanical Vibrations of Shipboard Equipment