As the U.S. Defense industry seeks better ways to collect transfer, and communicate data in the field, rugged tablets have been developed to meet exacting standards. The most important of these are encompassed in the IP65, MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461F, which must be strictly adhered to.
The six main standards rugged tablets for military use must adhere to include:
Dust, dirt, sand and debris must be kept out of the inner workings of the device, as well as out of ports and off of sensitive screens. Tablets that meet the IP65 standard have safeguards in place to ensure the device doesn’t shut down when in use under rough conditions
Similarly, rain, sleet, snow, and sweat as well as humidity shouldn’t interfere with the tablet’s operation. IP65 also covers the standards the device should meet under testing conditions that simulate in field use, to provide for the challenges posed by a moist environment.
The tablet may be dropped, bang into objects, or subjected to vibration depending on when and where it is being used. If the device is MIL-STD-810G certified, it can withstand 26 drops from a height of 4 feet onto plywood over concrete. MIL-STD 810G also covers vibration tests (similar to being transported in a rough riding vehicle over uneven terrain) and altitude testing.
EMI / EMC
Electromagnetic (EMI) interference can often be an issue with electronic devices, and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) can help dampen down that tendency. MIL-STD-461F provides standards for protection. Low radiated emissions are another point of interest – the ability to dampen or turn off radio signals can be invaluable in the field.
Sunlight-readable screens with an anti-reflective surface work with brightness controls to create the perfect contrast for reading in outdoor light or dim indoor settings. Even night use will probably be required, so any tablet for military grade usage has to be compatible with lighting in any setting.
The rugged tablet should also have the ability to withstand extreme temperatures between -4 F to 140 F. A device that freezes up or overheats is as helpful as a brick in the field, so devices have to be built with field conditions in mind.
In conclusion, a rugged tablet intended for military field use must be critically designed to offer the best in rugged computing, with a sturdy enclosure, fully integrated data capture options, ease-of-use accessories, but most importantly operability no matter the environment.