Environmental Testing

White Sands Missile Range's Environmental Testing includes 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.  All our tests and facilities meet DOD regulation standards.

High/Low Temperature

Temperature environments ranging from -80° F to 200° F can be produced at our fixed facilities and portable chambers.  Fixed temperature chambers are located on and nearby the main post and 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.



Rain testing is performed with rain rates from 0.5 inches to 27 inches per hour.  Blowing rain is generated utilizing three portable wind generators capable of producing 40 mph winds each.


The Applied Environmental Effects Division at White Sands Missile Range can now perform Dust Testing of hazardous material at its new dust test facility located 1.5 miles from the main post area.  The Dust Chamber can circulate silica powder through a 4'H x 4'W x 4'D test volume.  The air velocity can be controlled up to 45mph.  The chamber air temperature and relative humidity are controllable between 70-170° F and 5-30% relative humidity.  Dust concentrations up to 10.6 g/m3 ± 7g/m3 can be provided at air velocities from 5-29 m/s.  These facilities can produce sale concentrations of 5-20%.  Non-conditioned field sand tests can be performed on hazardous test items at ETA-II (Environmental Test Area) using up to 3 portable wind generators.  Sand and dust testing is performed in accordance with MIL-STD-810.


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


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

Snow/Ice/Freezing Rain

Snow Loading Test

A commercial snow-making machine is available for performing snow loading tests, or other customer requested tests.

Ice/Freezing Rain

Icing/freezing rain testing is performed in the large and small test chambers at the Temperature Test Facility, in the Vista walk-in chambers, and in the other low temperature chambers/shrouds.

Solar Radiation

White Sands Missile Range has the capability to perform solar radiation (heating effects) tests. 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 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.  White Sands Missile Range has the capability to perform MIL-STD-810 solar radiation testing.


Low pressure altitude test equipment includes a small multipurpose altitude 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.  Both chambers are certified for explosive test items.


White Sands Missile Range maintains an extensive array of equipment available for shock testing.  All shock tests can be remotely controlled to accommodate explosive and hazardous test items.

Electrodynamic Vibration Test

Electrodynamic vibration exciters are available to meet most vibration testing requirements.  Large reaction masses accommodate multiple exciters for tests involving large forces, massive test items, or multiple degrees-of-freedom excitation.  A wide range of test setups can be accommodated for large structure testing by positioning multiple shakers around the structure.  Most vibration test specifications can be accommodated with our Data Physics Vector II vibration control systems. 

Shock Testing

Shock Testing Using Electrodynamic Exciters- Electrodynamic exciters can be used to produce classical pulses (half-sine, saw-tooth, trapezoidal) and complex pulses using shock synthesis techniques.  Repetitive transient and wide-band random with mixed shock pulses (transient) can also be produced.

Shock Machines- Shock tests which require classical high peak accelerations or large velocity changes can be accommodated on shock test machines.  All shock test machines can be configured to provide half-sine, terminal peak saw-tooth, or square wave shock pulses.

Impact Shock Testing

A pendulum impact shock machine with a sixteen foot cable length and a 10x16 foot mounting platform is available for performing packaged container transportation shock tests.  Rail impact tests are conducted utilizing facilities at Ft. Bliss, Texas

Rough Handling (drop shock) Test Facilities are available to provide rough handling drop test.