There are currently ten impact areas at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) which can be used for air to surface or surface to surface flight test missions. The impact areas are circular and range in diameter from 4,200ft to 10,000ft. The impact areas are grouped into three categories: Phase I Impact Areas, Live Payload (Phase II) Impact Areas, and Special Purpose Areas.
Phase I Impact Areas:
There are seven Phase I Impact Areas. These impact areas are used exclusively to test inert warheads which do not contain a high explosive charge and are used for dispensing of inert submunitions with only live detonators in the fusing system. The impact areas are free of vegetation to enhance the safety of the impact area.
Live Payload (Phase II) Impact Areas:
There are currently three Live Payload (Phase II) Impact Areas. These impact areas are designated as Warhead Impact Target (WIT) areas and are used for testing fully tactical high explosive warheads and for dispensing tactical configuration submunitions. Only visual analysis is allowed in these areas. Recovery of these submunitions is not allowed and dud submunitions are destroyed in place.
Special Purpose Areas:
A 40 foot drop tower is available in the WSMR "Denver" (Phase II) area. Extensive test beds located in the WSMR "Rhodes" (Phase II) area are used for explosive hazard classification tests such as static detonation, slow and fast cook-off, sympathetic detonation, and bullet impact tests. The ABC-1 Impact area is specially designed for testing target engagement capabilities of conventional and smart submunitions. The ABC-1 complex encompasses a 5,000 foot diameter cleared area, a racetrack, and a tank staging area.