The primary purpose of MIL-STD 810 is for “…generating confidence in the environmental worthiness and overall durability of materiel system design”(U.S. Army Developmental Test Command (DTC)). This standard establishes specifications and testing procedures for resistance to rain, shock, vibration, dust, humidity, salt fog, and extreme temperatures.
Some think of 810 as “the” rugged standard, which of course, is not true. Many other standards come into play, such as MIL-STD 461 for electromagnetic emissions or the Navy’s MIL-S-901D for equipment mounted on US ships.
MIL-STD 810 is sufficiently complex and multivariable, that it may be more appropriate to think of it as a set of environmental standards, rather than a single specification. This is especially true when evaluating compliance. It is quite common for commercial companies to claim that their product “meets” MIL-STD 810, when actually it only meets a small fraction of the specifications.
Laboratories are not the real world
An inherent limitation in the standard, as noted by U.S. Army DTC, is that “In many cases, real-world environmental stresses (singularly or in combination) cannot be duplicated practically or reliably in test laboratories.” This not only emphasizes the importance of field/fleet verification trials, but also the experience of warfighters using the platform in theater. Not all developers have the advantage of AMREL’s record; the ruggedness of our mobile computer systems has been proven many times on battlefields around the world.
Semi, certified, or compliant?
Commercial vendors often use a bewildering and sometimes misleading set of terms to describe their product’s relationship to the standard. Here are some of the most common.
Compliant: Although MIL-STD 810 has specific tests, “compliant” can vary wildly in its meaning. According to Wikipedia, “When queried many manufacturers admit no testing has actually been done and that the product is merely designed/engineered/built-to comply with the standard.”
Semi: Like “compliant,” the meanings of “semi,” “business rugged,” and similar terms have no standard definitions. There is no mechanism to prevent a company from labeling any computer as “semi-rugged.”
Certified: The gold standard. Having a computer certified by a third-party is the strongest possible measure of compliance.
All AMREL platforms have been certified by third parties.
How to discover if a computer truly meets MIL-STD 810
To be certain, the person tasked with procurement needs to ask the vendor:
- Assuming testing was actually performed, which methods were used?
- Which parameters were tested?
- Was testing done by an independent testing facility?
Did this computer pass field verification trials? Has it been successfully proven on a mission? In other words, does it have a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 9?
Of course, one could simply skip steps 1 through 4, and simply buy an AMREL computer. All AMREL computer platforms have been certified for MIL-STD 810 by an independent third party. Furthermore, AMREL also has a record of nearly two decades of proven ruggedness in theater. Front-line personnel know that our ROCKY line of computers successfully operate in the most extreme conditions. We make computers as rugged as our warfighters.
To learn more about AMREL’s computers strict compliance with MIL-STD 810 standards, see Testing.
“It took several rounds of enemy fire and if it had not been for the computer I would have received the bullets in my back and probably been killed.”
I wanted to thank you and everyone there at Amrel for doing such a wonderful job and producing the best rugged notebooks that can be made. I had purchased one of your notebooks last year I believe it was the unlimited model. I knew that they were tough and wanted a personal computer to take to Iraq with me. After shopping around I came back to the Amrel Brand due to its reviews and abilities to provide what I was seeking. The computer performed above and way beyond what I or anyone else would have expected. While on patrol we were pinned down by sniper fire and I had the computer in my back pack. After the shooting was over one of my friends noticed I had been shot several times in the back. When I was checked there was no damage to my back but the computer was killed in action. It took several rounds of enemy fire and if it had not been for the computer I would have received the bullets in my back and probably been killed. Needless to say the computer's monitor, battery and hard drive were completely ruined. I had to throw it away due to the hazards relating to the leaking battery but I am definitely glad that it was there or I would not have made it home alive.
Thank you again and keep up the wonderful work.
Robert C. Taylor
Hello. I can verify that Chris Taylor was in Kirkuk when the incident happened and I was there. He and I had served together with the U.S. Forces performing special operations. Mr. Taylor and I were assigned along with several others to perform reconnaissance patrols in around Kirkuk to clear the area of resistance. We were pinned down by sniper fire and after the firefight with the snipers was over, I noticed that Mr. Taylor had several holes in his ruck sack along with blood on the back of his arm. When I did a closer inspection and medical evaluation I determined that the bullet holes in his ruck sack were from weapons fire and that the bullets had not penetrated his ruck sack and that his wound on the back of his arm was not serious but requires bandaging. He checked his ruck sack and dumped it out. The computer that he had been carrying had been shot in numerous areas. The hard drive and battery had caught the rounds and stopped them from injuring Mr. Taylor. The screen was broken and as far as the rest of the computer it was just a cluster of broken parts it was determined that there could be a health and safety hazard left the computer behind, especially since it was not repairable and inoperable.
Mr. Taylor and I have had a lot of close scrapes and I believe as he believes that if he had not had his Amrel Rocky in his ruck that day that I would have not been able to have left Kirkuk with him breathing. I also want to thank your company for saving the life of a valued person whom I am glad to have served with and hope he will return soon to the military.
If I can be of any assistance to you please let me know.