It is a technical discipline that includes all vibration tests conducted on most engineering structures. The goal is to simulate the effects of the operational (vibratory) environment on a given object. A car clutch, a dishwasher pump, or an airplane altimeter are just a few objects that are required to pass a dynamic environmental test prior to use.
How did this come into being?
These type of tests are by no means a new invention. They date back to World War II. For the short story, between 1939 and 1945, mechanical machines were used on an unprecedented scale. Parts and equipment were produced mainly in American factories to repair broken cars, planes or ships. But the broken machinery was often deployed to different continents: a factory in Ohio had to produce the same instrument for a plane flying in sunny Italy as well as in freezing Russia. Similarly, automotive parts produced in Detroit were used for jeeps driven in desert, jungle and mountain terrain. Engineers were puzzled by the fact that the life of the component seemed to depend on the environment where it was being used.
When was this standardized?
In 1945, the United States Army issued the Army Air Force Specification No.41065 called “General Specification for Environmental Test of Equipment.” This is regarded as the very first document to attempt a standardization of testing procedures. It allowed items and components to be tested and a lifespan to be predicted for various operational environments. In June, 1964 after 20 years of trial work, these recommendations were issued in what has become the world’s most authoritative standard: the MIL-STD 810. Since then, the original 60-page A version has become an 804-page G release.
What is the relationship between LMS testing solutions and environmental testing?
LMS testing solutions focus on the dynamic environmental test area. The goal is to reproduce the effects of the environment (and NOT the environment itself; it would be impractical to have a lab in the Artic for a cold test and one in the jungle for a wet one) on the operational life of a system. We have pioneered the integrated approach with LMS Test.Lab software and LMS SCADAS hardware. The success of these two platforms results from continuously implementing customer feedback from over the past 30 years combined with engineering experience and know-how accumulated by working with the world’s leading automotive and aerospace companies.”