Climatic Test Facilities

Test FacilitiesWSMR has the capability to perform a wide variety of Climatic Tests.

WSMR maintains climatic environmental test chambers capable of high and low temperature, temperature shock, solar radiation, low pressure (high altitude), salt fog, rain (rain with wind), snow loading, icing/freezing rain, sand and dust, humidity, fungus and leakage testing.

A digital data acquisition system is used to acquire and process data. The system has the capability of acquiring data ranging from -100 degrees F to 300 degrees F with an accuracy of ±1 degree for up to 150 channels. In addition, up to twenty transducers data channels (pressure, radiation intensity, etc) can be acquired with an accuracy of ±0.2 percent. The same type of data acquisition system is used for both remote and fixed sites.


Dust Chamber Dust Chamber

The Applied Environmental Effects Division at White Sands Missile Range can now perform MIL-STD-810, Method 510.4, Dust Testing of hazardous materiel at its new dust test facility located 1.5 miles from the main post area. The new facility houses an American Research Dust Chamber which has a test volume of 4' H x 4' W x 4' D (see left photo). The chamber air temperature and relative humidity are controllable between 60-160℉ and 5-30% RH. Dust concentrations up to 10.6 g/m3 ± 7 g/m3 can be provided at air velocities ranging from 5 - 29 m/s. An on-site data acquisition system is available to record temperature, humidity, velocity, and dust concentration parameters throughout the test period.


Test Facility Environment Test Facilities

These facilities include the Hot Chamber, Altitude Chamber, and several other smaller climatic test chambers.

Facilities also include a Large Microbiological Chamber for fungus and humidity testing, the Field Rain and Wind Pad, the Field Sand and Dust Area, and High and Low Temperature Test Chambers which can be utilized for temperature shock tests.

The Hot Chamber (70' l x 24' w x 22' h) can perform high temperature, solar radiation, humidity, and salt fog testing.


High/Low Temperature

Temperature environments ranging from -80℉ to 200℉ can be produced at our fixed facilities and portable chambers. Fixed temperature chambers are located at or nearby the main post and at several launch sites on the range to provide missile pre-fire temperature conditioning. With portable chambers, mobile power generators and mechanical field conditioning units, temperature conditioning can be accomplished at any location, with or without firm power. In addition, fixed and mobile liquid nitrogen equipment exists to support tests that require extreme cold temperatures or rapid temperature changes. Hazardous (explosive) test items can be tested at many of the climatic test facilities.



Humidity testing is performed in accordance with MIL-STD-810 from 5% to 100% relative humidity. Humidity testing on large non-hazardous test items can be performed at our multipurpose Hot Chamber. Hazardous test items can be tested at the salt fog/humidity chamber at Temperature Test Facility (TTF) or at the Microbiological Chember at ETA-II.


Freezing Testing Ice and Freezing Rain

Icing/freezing rain testing is performed in accordance with MIL-STD-810. Tests can be performed in the large and small test chambers at Temperature Test Facility (TTF), in the Vista walk-in chambers, and in other low temperature chambers/shrouds.



Leakage (Immersion) Test Facility

Leakage tests are performed in accordance with MIL-STD-810. The tests can be performed at various locations with a transportable tank. The tank can handle test items at a maximum size of 4' x 4' x 4', and at an immersion depth of one meter.


Low Pressure

Altitude test equipment includes a small multipurpose altitude chamber and a small vibration altitude test chamber The small (2' x 2' x 2') multipurpose altitude chamber can generate altitude environments from 500 feet below sea level to 150,000 feet above sea level. The small vibration altitude test chamber is used to simultaneously subject small test items to vibration and altitude environments to 40,000 feet.


Portable Conditioning Shroud Mobile Climatic Facilities

WSMR has large portable conditioning shrouds, several Mechanical Field Conditioning Units, two 350 KW generators available for temperature conditioning anywhere on White Sands or other installations (DoD or other).



Rain Testing Rain

Rain testing is performed in accordance with MIL-STD-810, with rain rates of 0.5-in to 27-in per hour produced at the ETA-II rain pad (hazardous test items). Blowing rain is generated utilizing three portable wind generators capable of producing 40 mph winds.



Salt Fog

Salt-fog testing is performed in accordance with MIL-STD-810. The tests are performed in the multi-purpose Hot Chamber (non-hazardous test items), at the salt fog/humidity chamber (hazardous test items) at Temperature Test Facility (TTF), and in a smaller chamber at the ETA-II Facility. Our facilities can produce salt concentrations of 5-20%.


Sand and Dust

Sand and dust testing is performed in accordance with MIL-STD-810. The dust chamber can circulate silica powder through a 4' L x 4' H x 4' W test volume. The air velocity can be controlled up to 45 mph. The temperature of the circulating air can be controlled from 70℉ to 170℉. Non-conditioned field sand tests can be performed on hazardous test items at ETA-II using up to 3 portable wind generators.


Snow Loading Test

A commercial snow-making machine has recently been acquired and is available for performing snow loading tests, or other customer requested tests. Snow loading can also be demonstrated with the use of sand bags or other suitable weights.


Solar Radiation

Solar Radiation Testing

WSMR has the capability to perform the MIL-STD-810 solar radiation (heating effects) test. Solar intensities up to 370 BTU per square foot per hour (1120 Watts per square meter per hour) are supplied by suspended lamp banks. Five quartz lamp banks, each approximately 15' wide by 17' long, can be suspended end to end in the Temperature Test Facility (TTF) large test chamber or singularly in the TTF small test chamber or in the multi-purpose Hot Chamber. In addition, a smaller quartz lamp bank (7' wide by 15' long) can be utilized in smaller chambers.


Temperature Shock

Chambers are available to perform temperature shock tests as specified in MIL-STD-810. Test items having a mass of 10,000 lbs. have been temperature shock tested and larger test items can be accommodated. Test item transfer can occur in less than five minutes between the different test environments.


Temperature Test Facility

Temperature Testing

This facility is located 2 miles from the main post area and is approved for the testing of hazardous (explosive) test items up to 30,000 lbs.

It is the largest explosive licensed temperature test facility within the DOD.

Its three chambers are multipurpose. The Large (105' l x 40' w x 50' h) and Small (35' l x 30' w x 20' h) Test Chambers can perform high/low temperature and freezing rain testing.

The Large Test Chamber has been used to conduct environmental tests of complete weapon systems, to include operator functional tests of the system at temperature.

The Salt Fog/Humidity Chamber (20 x 15 x 10 ft.), as its name implies, can perform salt fog, humidity, and high temperature testing.