Solar Radiation Testing

Solar Radiation Testing

Prolonged exposure to solar radiation can be very damaging to equipment that is stored or used outdoors. NTS operates state-of-the-art solar radiation testing facilities, capable of testing to solar standards for various different product types. We utilize proprietary sources of radiation to provide the spectral content and irradiance to the exacting requirements specified by these standards. We also provide the exact temperatures and wind speeds required by these standards.

The NTS Solar Testing Facilities

NTS locations in Tempe, Arizona; Baltimore, Maryland, Boxborough, Massachusetts; Plano, Texas; Santa Clarita, California; Huntsville, Alabama; Chicago, Illinois; and Orlando, Florida all offer solar radiation testing capabilities. With the capacity to fulfill testing requests for devices of any size or configuration, we can help you achieve compliance and certification with MIL-STD-810 and other regulatory standards. Materials that can be tested include:

  • Glazing and transparent armor
  • Carbon fiber and Kevlar products
  • Plastics and elastomers
  • Electrical and electronic components
  • Portable communication equipment
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their control equipment
  • Alternative power cells and other equipment

In short, any military or other device that is exposed to sunlight is a candidate for solar radiation testing. Understanding the potential effects UV-A, UV-B, infrared and visible light can have on a product is key to mitigating risk and developing more resilient systems overall.

Solar Testing at NTS Tempe

NTS Tempe performs two main types of solar radiation testing:

  • Heating tests: As the name implies, heating tests measure the effect prolonged exposure to heat can have on product materials. Monitoring and measuring how these materials expand or break down in realistic climate conditions allow you to implement specific controls and develop safer products. Solar radiation testing is the preferred method for this type of heat testing as it establishes a maximum response temperature that accounts for the differential effects of solar radiation. NTS Tempe features a 4’ x 6’ irradiated area that can be precisely calibrated to produce a wide range of wavelengths and temperatures.
     
  • Actinic effects tests: Actinic effects testing is a specific type of test that measures the effects of prolonged exposure to sunlight on a product or component. Our facility is specially equipped to replicate these effects in a shorter time period. This is done in an irradiated area equipped with mercury-doped metal halide lamps and either an air- or water-cooled system to prevent the test device from exceeding peak temperatures.

NTS’ solar radiation testing facilities offer a number of key advantages, including improved control of test parameters and the ability to handle larger devices and orient them to the radiation source. We also provide real-time monitoring of spectral content and irradiance, so you can be certain all tests are performed to your exact specifications.

Contact NTS today to learn more about our solar radiation testing services.