Solar radiation can be very damaging to materials and equipment stored and used outdoors. MIL-STD810, Method 505 is designed to evaluate materials as they are exposed to the radiation and heating effects of direct exposure to sunlight. NTS has developed and is now operating state of the art facilities in Tempe, Arizona for this testing.
Examples of these test materials include:
- Glazing and transparent armor
- Carbon fiber, Kevlar and other armor
- Plastics and elastomers
- Electrical and electronic components
- Portable communication equipment
- UAV and control equipment
- Alternative power equipment
- Any material used in outdoor applications
Proprietary radiation sources provide the spectral content and irradiance to the exacting tolerances required by the standard. In addition to the radiation requirements, the standard also requires that temperature and wind speed also be controlled to tight tolerances.
NTS test cells are purpose built to provide the correct environment to replicate the conditions seen in the field as required by the MIL Standard. NTS radiation sources are engineered to provide the correct spectral content, which includes UVA, UVB, visible, and infrared wavelengths.
Procedure 1 testing (Heating Effects)
- Used to investigate response temperatures when material is exposed in realistically hot climates, and is expected to perform without degradation during and after exposure
- Used to generate maximum response temperature of the test item, for use in Procedure 2 solar testing
- It is preferable to use the solar radiation test rather than a temperature-only test because the effects of differential heating caused by solar radiation on material are unknown
Procedure 2 testing (Actinic Effects)
- Used to investigate the effects on materiel of long exposure to sunshine
- An accelerated designed to reduce the time to reproduce the cumulative effects of long periods of exposure
- Chambers designed to provide enough cooling air to prevent the test item from exceeding peak temperatures that would be attained under natural conditions
NTS operates several test cells dedicated to solar radiation testing with internal volumes of 1000 cubic feet, which allow economical testing of larger test articles. Multiple radiation sources are available to provide the required heat and radiation in a configuration that allows the test subjects to be irradiated from any angle. Uniformity of the radiation across the test article is controlled within specification limits.
Current capabilities include:
- Procedure 1 system – 4′ x 6′ irradiated area
- Procedure 2 system – 4′ x 6′ irradiated area with air cooled Mercury-doped Metal Halide lamps
- Procedure 2 system – 6′ x 6′ irradiated area with air cooled Mercury-doped Metal Halide lamps
NTS engineers have designed a user interface system based on LABVIEW software that provides full control of all required parameters for testing. This proprietary software monitors spectral content, irradiance, airspeed, test article and chamber temperature and other selectable parameters and displays the data in real-time. All parameters are plotted to graphical for-mat for review and inclusion in the test report. The system auto-mates the setup and calibration, resulting in better accuracy and lower cost to the customer. All instrumentation is calibrated by an accredited laboratory, and is traceable to NIST. Full equipment lists with calibration traceability are provided with the subsequent test report.
Advantages of the NTS Solar Radiation test system include our ability to handle larger test articles and orientation of those test articles as required. We also offer real-time monitoring/recording of irradiance and spectral content as well as automated data processing and reporting.
For more information on how we can help with your solar testing needs please contact the experts at the Tempe lab directly, 480.966.5517 or visit our webpage for a list of additional services and accreditations.