The HTA serves to conduct destructive and operational tests of explosive items to evaluate their safety and operational integrity. Tests are conducted to meet requirements from MIL-STD-2105 and Test Operational Procedures (TOPs) dealing with explosive devices. The HTA is located approximately 10 miles from the WSMR main post and is nestled in a remote valley surrounded by the San Augustine Mountains. The HTA consists of several distinct test areas listed below.
- Centrifuge building - This building contains two specially designed centrifuges for conducting flight certification of Safe and Arm devices. This building also contains an area for special testing such as warhead explosive remote steam-out, warhead remote cutting/drilling/coring, and assembly/disassembly operations of certain types of warheads, fuzes, and rocket motors.
- Thrust stands - Two thrust stands are available for the conduct of static testing of rocket motors and for conflagration, bullet impact, and slow cook off testing of rocket motors, warheads, and other explosive devices
- Arena test areas - Two instrumented areas are available for the purpose of conducting warhead detonation testing in which fragment dispersion, and blast overpressure data is obtained.
- Drop tower - A 40 ft Drop tower is available for the purpose of Drop testing warheads, rocket motors, missiles, and other explosive devices.
- Conflagration pit - This 150 ft long by 95 ft wide by 20 ft deep pit is used for the conduct of large scale conflagration testing as well as other destructive and/or functional testing of warheads.