Mil-Spec Computer

Military Specification Computer

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Mil-Spec Computer (Military Specification Computer)

Mil-Spec Computer, Mil-Spec PCs are short for Military Specification Computers and PCs.  These computers are designed for the most extreme environments and most challenging usage applications.  Mil-Spec is derived from the U.S.Department of Defense and is often called Mil-Std or Mil-Spec, meaning Military Standard and Military Specification respectively.  This standardization  is to ensure products meet strict requirements to other similar defense related objectives.  Just because the world Military is in the term, it does not mean that it is only used for military as the terminology is used by many other non-defense government organizations, technical organizations and industry.

For the most part, Mil-Spec computers and components may need to meet various standards and certifications and often constructed of extreme rugged materials inside and out.  These computers are built to resist airborne debris, extreme temperatures, vibration, and sometimes humidity and moisture.  You will often see IP ratings for Mil-Spec computers to rate a minimum of IP67 and above for water resistance. 

Who Uses Mil-Spec Computers?

Besides the obvious military operators whom uses these computers, Mil-Spec PCs are always found in various industrial markets, especially in remote locations where maintenance is hard to easily access.  Mil-Spec computers, due to its design and components, are less likely to fail when compared to the general consumer computer.  Other industries that may use Mil-Spec computers include oil rigs, gas and oil pipeline companies, construction industry, space exploration companies, and underwater exploration.

What Determines a Product to be Mil-Spec 

As explained above, Mil-Spec devices are subject to extreme environmental and climatic conditions based on the Military Standard 810F Test standards.  The Mil-Spec 810F Test is intended to define the environmental stress sequences, durations, and levels of the equipment life cycle, valuate the equipment performance when exposed to environmental stress, and more.  The Mil-Spec 810 addresses a wide range of conditions including low pressure for altitude testing, high and low temperatures, shock, rain, humidity, rust, sand and dust exposure, explosive atmosphere, leakage, shock, vibrations, just to name a few.  Laboratory test methods can be found below.  Just because the product passes laboratory tests, it does not it will past field tests, as not all natural incidents can be recreated in a laboratory.

Test Method 500.6 Low Pressure (Altitude) 

Test Method 501.6 High Temperature

Test Method 502.6 Low Temperature 

Test Method 503.6 Temperature Shock 

Test Method 504.2 Contamination by Fluids 

Test Method 505.6 Solar Radiation (Sunshine) 

Test Method 506.6 Rain 

Test Method 507.6 Humidity 

Test Method 508.7 FungusTest 

Method 509.6 Salt Fog 

Test Method 510.6 Sand and Dust 

Test Method 511.6 Explosive Atmosphere 

Test Method 512.6 Immersion 

Test Method 513.7 Acceleration 

Test Method 514.7 Vibration 

Test Method 515.7 Acoustic Noise 

Test Method 516.7 Shock 

Test Method 517.2 Pyroshock 

Test Method 518.2 Acidic Atmosphere 

Test Method 519.7 Gunfire Shock 

Test Method 520.4 Temperature, Humidity, Vibration, and Altitude 

Test Method 521.4 Icing/Freezing Rain 

Test Method 522.2 Ballistic Shock 

Test Method 523.4 Vibro-Acoustic/Temperature 

Test Method 524.1 Freeze / Thaw 

Test Method 525.1 Time Waveform Replication 

Test Method 526.1 Rail Impact. 

Test Method 527.1 Multi-Exciter 

Test Method 528.1 Mechanical Vibrations of Shipboard Equipment (Type I – Environmental and Type II – Internally Excited)

Reference for test methods from Wikipedia


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