Weapons Testing

Although White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is the nation's principal location for missile testing, WSMR missile testing capabilities support a wide range of weapons.  WSMR's vast land, space, predesignated weapons impact testing areas, and control of the DoD airspace throughout the Range provide maximum flexibility in terms of schedule and system cost.

Directed Energy

HELSTF Laser White Sands Missile Range is the center for excellence for Directed Energy (DE) with five major DE test areas.  The two primary DE testing areas are High Powered Microwave and Laser.

High Powered Microwave Directed Energy

White Sands Missile Range's High Powered Microwave (HPM) capability produces flexible emission to simulate HPM sources in several frequency bands.

Narrowband (NB):

  • One 32-MW Very High Frequency (VHF) system at 300 MHz.
  • 36 1-MW magnetrons, 50 selectable frequencies each, providing continuous frequency coverage from 1.2 to 39GHz.
  • One 175-240 kw 3-tube system providing continuous frequency coverage from 140-1000 MHz.
  • Six 70-350 MW Super Reltron Tubes providing 50 kv/m @ 15 meters between frequencies of 670-3000 Mhz.
  • One 1000-1600 MHz narrow pulsewidth system providing narrow pulsewidths and high energy for testing digital systems.
  • One 1700-3000 MHz narrow pulsewidth system.


  • One portable 150-270 Mhz bandwidth unit
  • One 200-6000 Mhz unit divided into nine bands


Ultra-Wideband is available in one large system level test facility that can provide 35kV/m @ 50 meters across a tank size system.  The frequency coverage is 670-4300 MHz.

Sensor Suite Instrumentation (SS)

The HPM also utilizes support from Sensor Suite Instrumentation (SS).  The SS capability measures HPM field strengths and intensities in the vicinity of a ground target during an HPM test.  This allows the characterization of the electromagnetic field spatially and temporally.  SS supports simultaneous acquisition of up to thirty field sensors for real-time measurements, as well as up to ten autonomous sensors, which provide non-real-time measurements at remote testing areas.  The SS software system automatically removes instrumentation effects and converts the data into formats suitable for user interpretation.  SS supports several operational scenarios including effects and vulnerability testing, HPM source characterization, HPM chamber and open air test, safety assessments, and classified test operations.

Laser Directed Energy

The Pulsed Laser Vulnerability Test System (PLVTS) is the largest pulsed CO2 laser in the U.S.  It is designed to support susceptibility and vulnerability testing of electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) tactical weapons systems.  Fully transportable and self-contained, PLVTS is capable of providing tactical threat environments at virtually any test range in the world. 

  • Threat Lasers are agile and eye-safe lasers, that are available for component or system level testing.  White Sands Missile Range is in possession of over 50 threat lasers.
  • The Advanced Pointed Tracker (APT) is instrumented with a 60-cm diameter optical tracker or beam director.  It is mobile with two optical benches that enables dynamic testing.
  • The Sea Lite Beam Director (SLBD) is a beam director that can be used as an optical tracker for very high energy lasers.  It is instrumented with a 2m diameter optical tracker or beam director.  The SLBD is currently in mothball status.


Since the opening of the Range in 1945, White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) has preformed various tests on the effects, in flight behavior, and durability of missiles and rockets.  Uniquely within the DoD, White Sands Missile Range controls a vast airspace across the range and beyond and maintains multiple impact sites making it ideal for testing.

List of Services and Facilities:

  • Rocket Launch Facilities
  • Rocket Motor Testing
  • Launch and Recovery
  • Flight Termination Testing
  • Propulsion Systems
  • Spin Test Facility
  • Solar Furnace Facility
  • Radiation Effects/Electromagnetic Environmental Effects
  • Thrust Stands
  • Vacuum Chamber


White Sands Missile Range's extensive size, numerous impact areas, and variety of targets allow for the testing of long ranged artillery, Naval guns, and mortars.

Our list of Services and Facilities for artillery, gun, and mortar testing includes but is not limited to:

  • L.L.S Desert Ship
  • Missile/Rocket Assembly
  • Weapons Shock testing
  • Environmental testing
  • Thermal and Night vision testing
  • Laser range finders
  • Optical sensors


White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is the largest overland test range in the country.  WSMR features numerous unique impact areas and targets for various types of explosive testing. 

List of Services and Facilities:

  • Environmental/Climatics
  • Supply of targets: bunkers, caves, tanks, convoys, urban test cites, and many more
  • Radar and Optics
  • Chase aircraft for data collection (photographic documentation)

If you have a testing requirement not specified, please contact our G-5 Strategic Communications to see what we can do for you.  Please contact us by phone at 1-866-532-9767 or email us at usarmy.wsmr.atec.mbx.team-white-sands@army.mil.