It’s no secret that military operations are conducted under all sorts of conditions and circumstances. These operations require men and women who are physically tough and mentally resilient – ready to go at a moment’s notice. Those operations also require equipment that will be exposed to extremes not normally experienced in the civilian world, and still operate. Over the course of decades, the United States Department of Defence has designated very specific standards of testing in order to ensure equipment will still function when it is most needed after being put through hell, and the military standards for two way radios are no exception.
MIL-STD 810G is the most recent revision of the military standard “describing the environmental tailoring process that results in realistic material designs and test methods based on material system performance requirements” and provides “engineering direction for considering the influences environmental stresses have on material throughout all phases of service life.” In layman’s terms, the standard provides a series of tests simulating conditions that equipment may encounter in the field, and verifying the equipment will still work after experiencing those conditions.
Established in 1962, MIL-STD 810 was an attempt to anticipate “conditions peculiar to military operations” and ensure that equipment would function when needed. As military operational requirements changed over the years, the standard was updated as well, ending with the most recent revision adopted in 2008.
In the civilian world, businesses now operate in conditions and parts of the world where previously only military forces could or would. It only makes sense, then, to use the same performance guidelines for all sorts of equipment, especially communications gear.
In order to optimize your two way radio purchase, consider the possible conditions the equipment will operate under. If the system will be used between trucks on the ice roads of northern Canada, certain conditions will be different from radios that will be used between a dispatcher and utility crew in Halifax. Allow for Murphy’s Law, which dictates equipment failure at the worst possible moment, and use MIL-STD 810 compliance as a way to factor Murphy out of your operations.
There are a variety of effects the various versions of MIL-STD 810 describe. Included are:
- Low Pressure (Altitude)
- High Temperature
- Low Temperature
- Temperature Shock
- Contamination by Fluids
- Solar Radiation (Sun)
- Salt Fog
- Sand and Dust
- Explosive Atmosphere
- Acoustic Noise
- Acidic Atmosphere
- Gunfire Vibration
- Temperature, Humidity, Vibration, and Altitude
- Icing/Freezing Rain
- Ballistic Shock
Each of these effects has a specific and extremely rigorous method of testing prescribed to verify normal and safe functionality of the equipment tested. If a piece of equipment works after being subjected to the test conditions, it is said to be compliant with the version of MIL-STD 810 to which the test corresponds.
If you run a fleet of commercial snow clearing equipment, for example, you might be interested to know whether your radios will survive being extremely (-40° C) cold, while exposed to heavy diesel engine vibration and liquid de-icer, then warmed quickly when returned to the maintenance depot. If your radios are MIL-STD 810 compliant in those areas, they will stand a much better chance than if they are not compliant.
If you do blasting, you would want to ensure your radios won’t accidentally initiate your detonation system prematurely, and they won’t be damaged from working in heavy or freezing rain, being dropped off your belt, or from the shock of a blast.
If you would like more information on how Nova Communications can optimize your two way radio systems to your extreme operational environment, contact us and let one of our experts assist you in determining your specific needs, and putting together a communications package that will keep you talking through years of hard use. Want to know more about the durability of Motorola products? Check out the whitepaper, How Tough Are Your Batteries below.
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