This paper examines the history and evolution of environmental stress screening (ESS) to show how uncoordinated initiatives from each military service contributed to the current state of array in the ESS community. The lack of a common vision for ESS is examined as a continuing handicap in efforts to integrate ESS more fully into the hardware development process. Common areas of confusion regarding effective ESS procedures and facilities are discussed, including: temperature air change rate vs. hardware thermal response; the number of vibration axes needed; simultaneous vibration in combined axes vs. sequential vibration in each; and pneumatic vs. electrodynamic vibration facilities. A "checklist" of considerations to apply in developing a successful ESS program is presented. The June, 1994, DoD initiative regarding possible elimination or replacement of military specifications and standards with commercial standards is reviewed with respect to ESS.

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