Electromagnetic Effects

White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) has a wide variety of testing capabilities for electromagnetic effects.  All testing at WSMR is done in accordance with MIL-STD.  Some of the tests we can perform are:

Static Discharge

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) tests are performed in accordance with TOP 1-2511.  ESD testing capabilities can be broken up into two categories: personnel-level and helicopter-level.


The personnel-level (25,000 volts direct current [VDC]) ESD simulator is hand portable, which allows for discharge at any point system under test.


Helicopter-level (350,000 VDC) tests are performed by the item under test on nonconductive blocks, attaching one of a DC power supply to the item, and bringing a ground wand near enough to the test item to discharge the electrical charge.

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)

White Sands Missile Range has many capabilities and facilities for Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Testing.

Horizontally Polarized Dipole II (HPDII): The HPDII EMP simulator is a fast rise time free-field EMP simulator used for system-level testing to the Early-Time HEMP Waveform of MIL-STD-2169B.  A second pulser provides a mobile capability and is routinely requested by customers to be set-up at remote sites for testing.  The mobile HPDII consists of the pulser, antenna and data acquisition trailer.

Advanced Fast Electromagnetic Pulse System (AFEMPS): A 3.5 MW pulser combined with a wire-spread antenna system provides system level testing and meets MIL-STD-2169B Early-Time HEMP Waveform

Vertical EMP Facility (VEMP): A VEMP using a 2.0 MW pulser is being developed to provide the Early-Time HEMP Waveform and is scheduled to be operational no earlier than January 2013.

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

White Sands Missile Range testing capabilities in accordance to MIL-STDs of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) includes:

  • Measurement of electromagnetic emissions from the system
  • The system susceptibilies to external radio frequency (RF) signals
  • Radiated emissions
  • Radiated susceptibilities
  • Conducted emissions
  • Conducted susceptibilities

Electromagnetic Radiation

White Sands Missile Range can perform a full range of tests associated with Electromagnetic Radiation such as the following:

  • Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance (HERO)
  • Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Fuel (HERF)
  • Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Personnel (HERP)

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) / Susceptibility

The increasing complexity of weapon systems has lead to a system comprised of multiple electronic, electric, or electromechanical subsystems.  Inherent in this situation is the possibility that the emissions of one subsystem will degrade the performance of another and thereby have a negative impact on the entire system as a whole.  The purpose of EMC testing is to explore and document this phenomenon.  All EMC testing conducted at WSMR is performed in accordance with MIL-STD-E-605D.


White Sands Missile Range has installed a Lightning Test Facility (LTF), in accordance with MIL-STD-1757A, to simulate the direct and indirect effects of lightning strikes.

Direct Effects

Direct effects of lightning include burning, eroding, blasting magnetic forces, high-pressure shock waves, and structural deformation cause by lightning arc.

Indirect Effects

Indirect lightning effects are predominantly those resulting from the interaction of the electromagnetic fields accompanying lightning with electrical devices.