Defining a Rugged Computer

What is Rugged Computer

Shock & Vibration resistance testing

The, MIL-STD-810F, Method 514.4 - Procedure I (Operational) Categories 6 & 8 define tests for vibration resistance. The intent is to test a product's resistance to being transported manually, or being mounted in a ground vehicle, or even a helicopter. Testing is done on a vibrating plate, to which a product is secured. The product does not need to be operational, but does need to start and operate nornmally once switched on.

Similarly, the Shock/Impact test regime is intended to simulate operational conditions where a product might be dropped. Tests simulate (say) falling from a desktop, a bench or the back of a transport vehicle. Again, the tests do not require that the product be on, only that it function normally after it's started. For example:

  • 6 drops from 30" - simulates being dropped from a desktop, ocassionally
  • 26 drops from 36" - simulates being dropped a benchtop, more frequently
  • 26 times from 42" - simulates being dropped from the back of a vehicle, ocassionally, and
  • 26 times from 48" - sumulates being dropped from chest height while in the field

Vibration Test:
MIL-STD-810F, Method 514.4 - Procedure I (Operational) Categories 6 & 8

To approximate rigid mounting, units are clamped to an aluminium plate and tested for resistance to vibration as follows:

Ground Vehicle Test:
MIL-STD-810F, Method 514 - Category 8 Procedure VIII

A sine vibration with logarithm sweep from 5-200Hz was conducted. 5-6.25Hz, 1.0 inch (double amplitude), 6.25-200Hz, 2G, 12 minutes per cycle (5-200-5). The test is 5.5 hours along each of three orthogonal axes.

Helicopter Vibration Test:
MIL-STD-810F, Method 516.4 - Category 6 Procedure I

The helicopter vibration test duration is one hour, along each of three orthogonal axes. Units shall exhibit no malfunctions following testing.