White Sands Test Center :: White Sands Missile Range (2023)


The Range Operations Directorate (RO) establishes and implements policies, programs and procedures; coordinates range operations and data measurements; and has complete flight safety control for all missiles, rockets, munitions and other devices launched from or into WSMR, or which pass through WSMR controlled airspace.

The directorate conducts flight safety management, schedules and controls all range operations, and operates a vast inventory of instrumentation used in the test and evaluation of systems and weapons. Data are collected on any variety of assets such as missiles, rockets, aircraft, bombs, munitions, ground systems and targets. The primary data collection systems are telemetry, radar, optics, Global Positions System (GPS), timing, meteorology and remote target control. Various instrumentation systems are used to receive, record and relay test data. This data is processed for real-time display at facilities where test conductors, flight safety officers and range controllers monitor and manage the test. Post mission, the data is used for comprehensive analysis of a given test. An important test enabler capability is the White Sands Integrated Target Control System (WITS). The WITS enables the range to provide target presentations for weapons tests. The WITS is fully certified to control a wide variety of targets to include both full-scale drones (e.g., QF-4 and QF-16) and subscale aircraft drones. As a full-service system, the WITS also controls dynamic ground vehicles such as consumer and tactical assets that range from pickup trucks to tanks. Instrumentation systems are available for measuring basic physical properties, including mass, temperature, force, pressure, position, velocity and acceleration. Acoustic and electro-optics instrumentation is also available, including visible and infrared imaging and nonimaging systems. Virtually all test support capabilities are transportable to enable the range to reconfigure as required to support specific test program requirements. This ability also enables the range to regularly “safari” test support to locations worldwide. In addition to traditional range instrumentation, the directorate operates the Aerial Cable Range (ACR). The ACR is a 3-mile-long Kevlar cable strung between two mountain peaks. Large targets can be suspended and rocket-propelled down the cable or drop-tested.

For more information, visit the WSMR website at www.wsmr.army.mil or call 575-678-2400. Write to: Director, Range Operations Directorate, White Sands Missile Range, NM 88002.

Ionizing Radiation Test Capabilities

Major nuclear effects test facilities operated by SV include:

• White Sands Solar Furnace (WSSF): The WSSF produces intense thermal pulses or steady-state thermal radiation exposures to simulate the thermal radiation from detonation of a nuclear weapon. At full power, the energy generated by the WSSF can penetrate a half-inch stainless steel plate in 40 seconds.

• PI-538 Flash X-ray Facility: The PI-538 is a high-energy, pulsed, field-emission electron beam or Bremsstrahlung X-ray source. It provides an energy source of short duration for determining material responses to rapid and in-depth energy deposition and is a particularly cost-effective means of testing relatively large items. The system is optimized to produce an output that can irradiate substantial volumes at levels exceeding 1.0E10 cGy(Si) per second over a 50-square-centimeter area.

• Linear Electron Accelerator (LINAC): The LINAC is designed to simulate the high-intensity gamma spike associated with a nuclear weapon detonation by producing high-intensity, short-duration pulses of high-energy electron radiation for threat-level exposures.

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• Gamma Radiation Facility (GRF): The GRF is designed to provide the total gamma dose and residual gamma dose environments needed for nuclear effects testing on virtually any size item. The GRF is used primarily for Transient Radiation Effects on Electronics (TREE) experiments and verification tests of systems for gamma dose survivability. However, the uses of the GRF are diverse, including radiography and shielding experiments and nuclear power plant equipment and materials verification, as well as calibration and operational testing of military RADIAC instrumentation.

• Fast Burst Reactor (FBR): The FBR is an unmoderated and unreflected cylindrical assembly of uranium and molybdenum alloy. The FBR produces high-yield pulses of microsecond width, as well as long-term, steady-state radiation, to closely simulate the neutron radiation environment produced by a fission weapon. Its principal use has been and continues to be the testing of electronic devices to a fast neutron environment. Additionally, it can be combined with the PI-538 Flash X-ray to provide a synergistic combined test environment.

• DS-20 Panoramic Irradiator: The DS-20 Panoramic Irradiator is used for gamma dose simulation testing. The facility is capable of providing dose rates between 50 and 0.01 rad(Si) per second in the direct beam with no attenuation. The Eldorado can also operate in an extended operation mode to fulfill the unique requirements of Space Radiation Environment tests. Utilizing off-axis irradiations or aluminum attenuators, lower dose rates are achieved.

In addition to these ionizing radiation producing facilities, the SV also provides test and support capabilities in conjunction with the nuclear facilities with the SemiconductorTest Laboratory and the Radiation Tolerance Assured Supply and Support Center.

Mission and Installation Contracting Command - White Sands Contracting Office

The primary purpose of this section is to furnish information and assistance to individuals and companies interested in doing business with the U.S. Government -- particularly with White Sands Missile Range activities.

The Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC), White Sands Contracting Office is a full-service contracting office supporting the routine, unique and special needs of the WSMR testing community, its tenants and federal agencies external to the installation. Though the MICC - White Sands Contracting Office is an MICC-funded tenant activity at White Sands Missile Range, it plays an integral role in the support of the Team WSMR mission.

The MICC - White Sands Contracting Office staff purchases equipment, consumable supplies, minor construction, base operations type services, and mission support services. We acquire these by placing orders against contracts awarded by the General Services Administration (CS) and various agencies in the Department of Defense (DoD). We do this through the use of purchase orders, government purchase cards and through solicitation and awarding of various types of fixed price and cost reimbursable contracts.

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All requirements exceeding $25,000 are advertised at the Federal Business Opportunities (www.fbo.gov) page for the Department of the Army - MICC - White Sands Missile Range: Opportunities.

Information for general public access

Federal business opportunities, justifications, and approvals listings are announced on our web portal.

Test Engineering and Analysis Services (TEAS), Pre-Solicitation Notice W9124Q-14-R-0011

WSMR Test Engineering and Analysis Services Performance Work Statement

WSMR Test Engineering and Analysis Services OCI Form

WSMR Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)

Department of the Army OSBP

An interactive instructional module for13 Steps to Doing Business with the Army

(Video) NASA White Sands Test Facility Remote Hypervelocity Test Laboratory

Information for authorized WSMR personnel

15 January 2014 MICC CG Memo: FY14 cut-off dates for purchase request submissions to MICC

WSMR Government Purchase Card Program


Privacy and security notice

All requirements - The MICC - White Sands Contracting Office web collection is provided as a public service. Information presented in this web collection is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

At present, no statistical tracking of the MICC - White Sands Contracting Office web collection is done to assess what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications and identifying system performance or problem areas. However, for site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration General Schedule 20.

Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.

External Links Notice: The appearance of a hyperlink on any of the pages of this website does not constitute endorsement by U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range, the Public Affairs Office, Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense of the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense, the United States Army, the United States Airforce or the National Guard Bureau, does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find. However, information is consistent with the stated purpose of this military site.

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What is the White Sands test range? ›

White Sands Missile Range is the largest overland military test range in the United States, occupying some 3,200 square miles of southern New Mexico. With more than 60 years experience in rocket and weapons system test and development, it has earned the title “Birthplace of America's Missile and Space Activity.”

What goes on at White Sands Missile Range? ›

On the ground, White Sands Missile Range is able to conduct testing such as the Holloman High Speed Test Track, a 10-mile long rocket test and aerospace test facility that is the most precisely aligned and instrumented facility of its kind in the world.

What does White Sands Missile Range do? ›

White Sands Missile Range provides America's Armed Forces, allies, partners, and defense technology innovators with the world's premiere research, development, test, evaluation, experimentation, and training facilities to ensure our nation's defense readiness.

Can civilians go to White Sands Missile Range? ›

There are two gates at White Sands Missile Range, and each of them has a Visitor Control Center (VCC) for your convenience. The El Paso Gate is is located near the Condron Army Airfield, closer in proximity to El Paso, TX.

Do they still test missiles at White Sands? ›

It began with a test of the world's first atomic bomb in 1945. After 76 years and more than 42,000 rocket and missile tests, however, White Sands Missile Range continues as the premier military test range in America, earning its title as “Birthplace of America's Missile and Space Activity.”

Can you drive through White Sands Missile Range? ›

The first five miles of Dunes Drive are paved and the last three miles are a hard-packed gypsum sand road. The road is suitable for cars, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and buses. From time to time, White Sands Missile Range performs missile tests that may close Highway 70 to traffic.

Is White Sands Missile Range the largest US military base? ›

As the largest military installation in the United States, WSMR encompasses almost 3,200 sq mi (8,300 km2) including parts of Doña Ana, Otero, Socorro, Sierra, and Lincoln counties in southern New Mexico.

What cities are near the White Sands Missile Range? ›

White Sands Missile Range is about 20 miles east of Las Cruces, New Mexico; 45 miles north of El Paso, Texas; 40 miles southwest of Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; and 50 miles southwest of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

What animals live on White Sands Missile Range? ›

“People tend to focus only on Oryx, but other wildlife such as: elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, Barbary sheep, coyotes, mountain lions, collared peccaries (Javelina), bobcats and raccoons all make White Sands home.” Oryx are large antelopes with long, spear-like horns.

What is the longest range of missiles? ›

The Minuteman III inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) has the longest range of operational missiles in the United States, with a range of 13,000 kilometers. With a range of 12,000 kilometers, the submarine-launched Trident missile has the second-longest range among American missiles.

What is Cape Canaveral test range? ›

The range starts at the launch pads at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and John F. Kennedy Space Center and extends eastward over the Atlantic Ocean to 90° East longitude in the Indian Ocean, where it meets the Western Range. The range consists of a chain of shore and sea-based tracking sites.


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