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In order for a piece of electronics to be approved for use for Department of Defense (DOD) and other government agencies, these electronics must pass through standardized testing. The test method that makes electronics approved for use by all departments and agencies of the DOD is commonly referred to as "military standards" or "MIL Specs." These rugged specifications were created specifically for DoD applications, the MIL Specs are commonly tailored for commercial applications. Military standards began with MIL-STD-810E and were then revised to produce more rugged electronics with the MIL-STD-810F. The newest revisions helped to provide clear directions in regards to ruggedized testing for military grade laptops and tablets.

The 810E and 810F were created for the same outcome; to provide testing procedures to help create military grade laptops and other electronic devices. These specifications help tailor a material and a design to suit different environmental conditions that may be experienced in the line of duty. The "F" revision however, expands the up front understanding on how to implement the environmental tailoring process throughout the material acquisition cycle.

This revision recognizes that the environmental design and test tailoring process has expanded to involve a wide range of managerial and technical interests. Accordingly, this revision orients environmental design and test direction toward three basic types of users who have distinctly different, although closely associated, interests.

  • Program managers, who ensure proposed concepts and systems are valid and functional in intended operational environments
  • Environmental engineering specialists (EES), who enter the acquisition process early to assist combat and material developer tailoring efforts by preparing life cycle environmental profiles and drafting tailored design criteria and test programs
  • The design, test, and evaluation community, whose analysts, engineers, and facility operators use tailored designs and tests to meet user needs

Military standards must be followed to assure proper design, manufacturing standards, durability, and uniform electronic requirements. All of these requirements encompass processors, battery, memory, power devices, essential, and nonessential operating devices. When a device does not meet certain military specifications, it cannot be of use to any department or agencies that are affiliated with the DOD.




Method 500.4

Low Pressure (Altitude)

Method 501.4

High Temperature

Method 502.4

Low Temperature

Method 503.4

Temperature Shock

Method 504

Contamination by Fluids

Method 505.4

Solar Radiation (Sunshine)

Method 506.4


Method 507.4


Method 508.5


Method 509.4

Salt Fog

Method 510.4

Sand and Dust

Method 511.4

Explosive Atmosphere

Method 512.4


Method 513.5


Method 514.5


Method 515.5

Acoustic Noise

Method 516.5


Method 517


Method 518

Acidic Atmosphere

Method 519.5


Method 520.2

Temperature, Humidity, Vibration, and Altitude

Method 521.2

Icing/Freezing Rain

Method 522

Ballistic Shock

Method 523.2



a. Accelerated test. A test designed to shorten the controlled environmental test time with respect to the service use time by increasing the frequency of occurrence, amplitude, duration, or any combination of these of environmental stresses that would be expected to occur during service use.


b. Aggravated test. A test in which one or more conditions are set at a more stressful level than the material will encounter during service use.


c. Ambient environment. The conditions, either outdoor or confined (e.g., temperature and humidity), that characterize the air or other medium that surrounds material.


d. Climatic categories. Specific types of world climates which material is designed to withstand during operation, storage, and transit.


e. Combat developer. Military specialist concerned with training, doctrine, and material needs documentation.


f. Critical threshold value. The level of an environment forcing function that degrades the capability of material significantly or requires degradation prevention measures be taken.


g. Cumulative effects. The collective consequences of environmental stresses during the life cycle of material.


h. Engineering judgment. Expert opinion based on engineering education and experience, especially in the area in which the judgment is made.


i. Environmental analysis. Technical activity covering an analytical description of the effects that various environments have on material, subsystems, and component effectiveness.


j. Environmental conditions. (See Forcing function (environment).)


k. Environmental engineering. The discipline of applying engineering practices to the effects that various environments have on material effectiveness.


l. Environmental engineering specialist (EES). A person or group of people skilled in one or more environmental engineering areas. Areas include, but are not necessarily limited to: natural and induced environments and their effects on material; expertise in measuring and analyzing in-service environmental conditions; formulating environmental test criteria; determining when environmental laboratory tests are appropriate/valid substitutes for natural in-service environmental tests; and evaluating the effects of specific environments on material.


m. Environmental test. A structured procedure to help determine the effects of natural or induced environments on material.


n. Environmental Worthiness. The capability of material, subsystem, or component to perform its full array of intended functions in intended environments.


o. Equipment. For purposes of this standard, equipment includes the instrumentation, facilities, and support apparatus used to conduct or monitor tests. This does not include the test item itself or the material of which the test item is a sample or a part.


p. Forcing function (environment). A natural or induced physical environmental stress condition on material that may affect its ability to function as intended or to withstand transit or storage during its service life. (Also referred to as an environmental condition or an environmental stress.)


q. Hermetic seal. A permanent, air-tight seal.


r. Induced environment. An environmental condition that is predominantly man-made or generated by the material platform. Also, refers to any condition internal to material that results from the combination of natural environmental forcing functions and the physical/chemical characteristics of the material itself.


s. In-service use. The anticipated use of material during its intended service use life.


t. Integrated Product Team (IPT). A group of individuals from different professional disciplines and organizations (government and industry) who work together on a product from concept through production stages. Individuals who cover a discipline may change from stage to stage, but the discipline is covered, and the information pertinent to that discipline is passed to the succeeding team member(s) in that discipline.


u. Life Cycle Environmental Profile (LCEP). Design and test decision baseline document outlining real-world, platform-specific, environmental conditions that a specific material system or component will experience during service-related events (e.g., transportation, storage, operational deployment/use) from its release from manufacturing to the end of its useful life.


v. Life cycle profile. A time history of events and conditions associated with material from its release from manufacturing to its removal from service, including demilitarization. The life cycle should include the various phases material will encounter in its life, such as: packaging, handling, shipping, and storage prior to use; mission profiles while in use; phases between missions such as stand-by or storage, transfer to and from repair sites and alternate locations; and geographical locations of expected deployment.


w. material. A commodity or set of commodities. A generic class of hardware designed to perform a specific function.


x. material developer. An agency or group of individuals involved in designing, testing, or evaluating material to meet developer performance requirements.


y. Mission profile. That portion of the life cycle profile associated with a specific operational mission.


z. Operational worthiness. The capability of material, a subsystem, or component to perform its full array of intended functions.


aa. Parameter. Any quantity that represents a descriptive generalization of a certain characteristic physical property of a system that has a certain value at a particular time.


bb. Parameter level. The value of a physical property that documents the degree, extent, or level at which a parameter exists at a given location at a given point in time, or the value to which a variable test control is set (see test level).


cc. Platform. Any vehicle, surface, or medium that carries the material. For example, an aircraft is the carrying platform for installed avionics items or transported or externally mounted stores. The land is the platform for a ground radar set, for example, and a person for a man-portable radio.


dd. Platform environment. The environmental conditions material experiences as a result of being attached to or loaded onto a platform. The platform environment is influenced by forcing functions induced or modified by the platform and any platform environmental control systems.


ee. Program manager. The (Government) official who is in charge of the acquisition process for the material.


ff. Service life. Period of time from the release of material from the manufacturer through retirement and final disposition.


gg. Tailoring. The process of choosing design characteristics/tolerances and test environments, methods, procedures, sequences and conditions, and altering critical design and test values, conditions of failure, etc., to take into account the effects of the particular environmental forcing functions to which material normally would be subjected during its life cycle. The tailoring process also includes preparing or reviewing engineering task, planning, test, and evaluation documents to help ensure realistic weather, climate, and other physical environmental conditions are given proper consideration throughout the acquisition cycle.


hh. Test item. Specific material, a subsystem, or component being tested, including its container and packaging materials, that is representative of the material being developed. A representative sample of material that is used for test purposes.


ii. Test level. The value at which a test condition is set or recorded. (Also, see parameter level.)


jj. Test method. The criteria and procedures used to formulate an environmental test.


kk. Test plan. A document that may include test procedures and test levels, failure criteria, test schedules, and operational and storage requirements.


ll. Test procedure. A sequence of actions that prescribes the exposure of a test item to a particular environmental forcing function or combination of environmental forcing functions, as well as inspections, possible operational checks, etc.


mm. Virtual proving ground. A developing suite of tools, techniques, and procedures by which the tester will verify, validate, test, and evaluate systems, simulators, and models by stimulating them with complex synthetic environments. These simulation-based tests should supplement and be validated by live testing.




Allied Environmental Conditions and Test Publication


American National Standards Institute


Detailed Environmental Test Plan


Department of Defense


Department of Defense Directive


Department of Defense Index of Specifications and Standards


Environmental Engineering Management Plan


Environmental Engineering Specialists


Environmental Issues/Criteria List


Electromagnetic Interference


Environmental Stress Screening


Environmental Test and Evaluation Master Plan


Environmental Test Report


Integrated Product Team


International Organization for Standardization


Life Cycle Environmental Profile


Major Automated Information System


Mandatory Procedures for Major Defense Acquisition Program


Military Handbook


Military Standard


Mission Need Statement


North Atlantic Treaty Organization


National Conference of Standards Laboratories


Non-development Item


Operational Environment Documentation


Operational Environment Documentation Plan


Operational Environment Documentation Report


Operational Requirements Document


Quadripartite Standardization Agreements (American, British, Canadian, and Australian)


Systems Acquisition Management Plan


Standardization Agreements (NATO)


Test and Evaluation Master Plan

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