Using MIL STD 810 in Product Development

using mil std 810

Defining MIL-STD-810

MIL-STD-810H – Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests is a Department of Defense (DoD) test standard to evaluate the effects of environmental stresses on materiel that are likely to occur during all phases of service life.  Using MIL-STD-810 effectively in product development is of great importance to developers of military equipment.

Over and above being a collection of testing procedures, this document defines the engineering processes of environmental tailoring.  These environmental tailoring processes allow for the creation of an environmental test program that realistically reflects service life conditions during storage, logistic transport, tactical transport, and operation.

MIL-STD-810 is composed of three parts.  The first part describes the tailoring process which provides the aforementioned analysis.  Tailoring is a management and engineering procedure that conducts a Life Cycle Environmental Profile (LCEP) and creates an Environmental Issues/Criteria List (EICL). 

The second part contains, as of Revision H, the 29 laboratory test methods for product evaluation.  The third part contains climatic data and guidance derived from a number of sources.

Part 1 of the standard is often overlooked by those involved in product specification for the DoD.  It is also overlooked by product designers, lab personnel, and even those involved with educating people about the standard.  This leads to materiel that is either under or over tested.  More importantly, it results in failures later in the product development process that cause delays and budget overruns associated with redesign.

Steps in the Tailoring Process

It essential for those involved in managing the development of a product to identify, as early as possible, the environmental characteristics in which the materiel is to be deployed in, stored, and transported through.  These environmental conditions include climatic factors such as high temperature and humidity.  They also include dynamic factors such as shock and vibration.  This process is referred to as a Whole Life Assessment (WLA).

When conducting a WLA, measured data is always preferred.  As an example, for a piece of equipment intended for mounting on an engine compartment firewall, measured temperatures at the point of intended installation during extreme operations will provide more realistic criteria than an assumed value.  

Additionally, it is important to evaluate forcing climatic functions induced by the equipment itself.  For example, a standard high temperature for an enclosed area that is not controlled is 160 °F (71 °C).  However, if the enclosed area allows the materiel to be subject to sunlight, the appropriate value may be much higher

Environmental Engineering Management Plan (EEMP)

This document defines and establishes an environmental engineering program that incorporates a Whole Life Assessment (WLA) to assess a product’s safety, reliability, and performance throughout its intended life.  The goal of establishing an environmental engineering program is to establish an organizational structure with requisite processes and procedures to ensure a complete analysis of the environmental stressors likely to be encountered by a product in its intended life cycle. 

This document should also identify and provide rationale for any evaluations not to be performed or evaluations that are to be conducted by analysis.

Operational Environmental Documentation Plan (OEDP)

The Operational Environmental Documentation Plan (OEDP) conveys a schedule for gathering essential information.  This information is to be obtained to establish criteria for design specification and product test and evaluation.  This process should be initiated early in the design concept phase.

This document contains plans for obtaining essential data for developing a product’s design and test criteria.  It also contains plans for collecting data not available currently, describing how to obtain those environmental data under realistic operating or field conditions using actual or closely related systems/platforms.

Life Cycle Environmental Profile (LCEP)

The Life Cycle Environmental Profile (LCEP) provides the guidelines for conducting a Whole Life Assessment (WLA) for a product under development.  This assessment should be initiated early in the design concept phase.

The LCEP is part of an Environmental Test and Evaluation Master Plan (ETEMP) which serves to identify significant environmental stressors likely to be experienced by the product under development throughout its intended useful life.  The document is compliant to MIL-STD-810H.

Environmental Issues/Criteria List (EICL)

The Environmental Issues/Criteria List (EICL) is a compilation of environmental data acquired from product requirements, inputs from the Life Cycle Environmental Profile (LCEP), and data collected from the Operational Environmental Documentation.  As such, the EICL should be considered a living document that will be updated as new information becomes available.

The environmental data contained in this document include rationale and assumptions taken in the data’s acceptance with regard to materiel performance, durability, and any factors for conservatism. 

Test and  Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP)

The TEMP includes all planned evaluations including software simulation, evaluations performed in test labs, and field/fleet testing.  It can also include non environmental testing such as EMI/EMC testing.  

Learning to Use MIL STD 810

CVG Strategy provides education in this important standard.  Our instructors have decades of experience in laboratory test and evaluation of military and commercial products. 

We understand the importance of testing and getting a properly designed product to market in a timely fashion.  Instruction includes extensive coverage of the tailoring process and how to use it your product development.  Our courses are available online and on location. 


Jamie Hamilton

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