Early environmental testing quickly pushes equipment to the limit

Wai-mun Leung, CERDEC CP&I engineer, assembles a unit under test to prepare for the Battery Box Violent Vent Simulation Test, located within the CERDEC C4ISR Environmental Test Facility. The test releases high pressure nitrogen into the battery box to simulate a battery rupture, causing a virtually instantaneous spike in pressure. This test ensures the container releases the pressure in a safe, controlled manner without releasing projectiles. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

By Kathryn BaileyCERDEC

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (October 27, 2015) — A U.S. Army environmental test facility provides capabilities to test design integrity, ensure equipment adheres to military specifications and troubleshoot design prototypes to ensure the most comprehensive equipment reaches the warfighter.

Explosive atmospheres, extreme temperature fluctuations and powerful vibrations — these are just some of the punishing environmental conditions military communications equipment must endure on the battlefield or in the sky.

Field survivability tests are an effective means to test the equipment’s functionality and ensure Soldier safety, but Army and industry developers also use environmental test labs as a viable alternative to real-life testing.

“Using a lab to replicate the harshest environmental conditions expedites the testing process at a fraction of the cost,” said Christopher Manning, Command Power & Integration Directorate’s Prototype Integration & Testing Division chief, under the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC. Continue reading