Climate Data for Design of Aerospace and Other Equipment

23 June 1997

This handbook provides climatic data primarily for use in engineering analyses to develop and test military equipment and materiel. The data provided are intended to serve as natural environmental starting points for the sequence of engineering analyses to derive environmental design criteria for materiel. The climatic data are also intended to provide guidance in the development of environmental tests of materiel.


  1. This handbook provides climatic information for land, sea, and air environments in which military materiel may be required to operate. These data represent free air (ambient) conditions, and are not to be confused with the response of materiel, either to these conditions, or to those of a platform on or within which the materiel might be located.
  2. Selection of specific climatic values in this handbook should be made only after determining: (1) the area of geographic deployment; (2) handling and logistics requirements; and (3) the operational requirements of the materiel being developed.


  1. Climatic data for the region south of 60°S latitude are excluded from consideration in this document.
  2. The climatic data in this handbook should not be used in the development of materiel for a specific geographic location or an anomalous site such as a mountain top. This type of climatic support may be obtained through the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for each military service (see 4.6).
  3. The possible adverse effects of climatic conditions upon materiel are not discussed in this handbook.
  4. This handbook does not include induced environments such as may be encountered in storage or transit, or caused by a platform on or within which the materiel might be located.
  5. Unless otherwise indicated, information provided for a climatic element does not occur at the same time and/or place as information provided for another climatic element.
  6. The climatic data in this handbook should not be used directly as test values without consulting MILSTD- 810 or other appropriate environmental test documentation.

Synopsis of Background Material for MIL-STD-210B, Climatic Extremes for Military Equipment

Note: MIL-STD-210B was a predecessor for MIL-HDBK-310, available above. This webmaster had recourse to this standard in this design project.

AD-780 508
24 January 1974

The Design Climatology Branch of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories had the scientific responsibility for leading a DoD Task Group effort to revise MIL-STD-210A “Climatic Extremes for Military Equipment.” This new standard, first published in 1953 and updated as MIL-STD-210A in 1957, provides climatic extremes for which worldwide usage of military equipment should be designed. Because the extremes in earlier versions were not specifically expressed as design goals, equipment adopted by one Service for worldwide use was frequently unacceptable for use by the other Services. This created a need to change the specified intent of MIL-STD-210A. In addition, MIL-STD-210A was also in drastic need of revision because of a maturing of concepts in the application of climatic information to equipment design, a vastly improved climatological data base for weather elements currently in MIL-STD-210A, new elements desired by engineers, and the availability of new statistical techniques to process such climatic data.

Accordingly a tri-Service study group was established in 1967 to first determine the need for a revised MTL-STD-210A, and then to prepare the revised document, MIL-STD-210B. Each of the three Services was delegated responsibility to prepare background studies for the revision of extremes for current elements and/or the establishment of extremes for new elements, within a common design philosophy framework established by the study group.

This document represents the fruition of the goals of the task group. It relates ,the background studies supporting the values in MIL-STD-210B, so that MIL-STD-210B users need to consult only this single document for an elaboration on the MIL- extremes. In addition, the report contains information on the origin, !necessity for and the events leading to a revision of MIL-STD-210A. Discussions of the major changes in the Standard’s philosophy and its contents are also provided.

U.S. Standard Atmosphere, 1976

NOAA-SIT 76-1562
October 1976

The U.S. Standard Atmosphere, 1976, which is a revision of the U.S. Standard Atmosphere, 1962, was generated under the impetus of increased knowledge of the upper atmosphere obtained over the past solar cycle. Above 50 km, this Standard is based on extensive new rocket data and theory for the mesosphere and lower thermosphere, and on the vast resources of satellite data for the thermosphere acquired over more than one complete solar cycle. This Standard is identical with the ICAO Standard (1964) up to 32 km and the ISO Standard (1973) to 50 km. Part 1 gives the basis for computation of the main tables of atmospheric properties, including values of physical constants, conversion factors, and definitions of derived properties. Part 2 describes the model and data used up to 85 km, in the first section; and the model and data used above 85 km, in the second section. The theoretical basis of the high-altitude model is given in an appendix. Part 3 contains information on minor constituents in the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere. The main tables of atmospheric properties to 1000 km are given in Part 4. The international system of metric units is used.