MIL-STD Computer Testing

When government agencies determine that a computing device meets their specifications for "rugged" or "ruggedized", how do they actually test that - what do they look for? Among the things that are tested are exposure to heat, cold and other harsh environments such as exposure to sand and vibration or impacts. When testing exposure to cold, for example, checks would include not only if the device could be safely stored in a cold setting, but would it work in such cold, and could it be operated successfully in those conditions? 
The U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD) 810 gives agencies a guide. It was introduced in 1962 to provide a series of tests to simulate how materiel would hold up to environmental stress during its operational lifetime. It has been revised several times over the years, the most recent being Revision G in 2008. It details 28 different testing methods that cover everything from temperature to fungal infestation to gunfire. Of course, not all of them apply to every specific item — what applies to a gas mask or Kevlar vest doesn’t necessarily apply to a tablet.

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