COTS for Military Applications
The Defense Department is integrating more Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) products for military applications including mission critical systems. While this is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to gain access to a lucrative market, it also poses some serious challenges.
Once approved for a military application the manufacturer of the COTS must ensure that the products are designed to meet requirements for harsh environmental applications and stringent EMI/EMC limits. This will often require extensive Developmental Test and Evaluation and probably a certain amount of design modification.
MIL-STD-810 Testing for COTS
MIL-STD-810 is the primary tool for Developmental Test and Evaluation for the environmental effects on military equipment. This standard, currently in revision H, is comprised of twenty-nine methods for climatic and dynamic testing. Climatic methods include High Temperature, Immersion, Fungus, Humidity, and Rain. Dynamic methods include dozens of types of shock and vibration.
MIL-STD-810 does not rely on procedures with set parameters and severities. Instead it requires an assessment of the critical environmental profiles likely to be encountered by the materiel in its life cycle.
This assessment involves a management and engineering process known as tailoring. This is a critical decision-making process as the conditions a COTS in a military application would face on an aircraft would be entirely different than those in a shipboard application. Added to this are consideration of all modes of transit likely to be encountered, both logistical and tactical.
MIL-STD-461 and Electrical Compatibility for Military Applications
MIL-STD-461 is the EMI/EMC standard for military components. As such it often poses the greatest challenges to COTS transitioning into the military market. Though requirements vary as determined by the intended platform (e.g. Army Ground, Aircraft Navy) they are generally more stringent for emissions and susceptibility than commercial items.
There are a number of standards that apply to electrical and electronic equipment for electrical compatibility. The applicable standard is determined by the intended platform the equipment is to be installed in.
MIL-STD-1275 is used for 28 Volt DC powered items that are installed in military vehicles. It includes methods to simulate the expected surges, ripples, limits, and starting disturbances found on these vehicles.
For equipment intended for use on aircraft, MIL-STD-704 is specified. These methods include simulations of disturbances on various two phase, three phase, and DC power distribution networks found on military aircraft.
MIL-STD-1399 covers a wide range of power configurations found on shipboard power distribution systems. These tests can be very involved and require significant time to complete.
CVG Strategy has expertise and experience in assisting companies adapt their products from the commercial marketplace to military applications. Our experts can determine requirements and tailor environmental criteria to create effective Developmental Test and Evaluation programs. Furthermore, our test and evaluation team can manage evaluation programs, write test plans, witness testing, and create test report summaries. We have decades of experience in environmental and EMI/EMC testing in both commercial and military applications.
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