Fire and Ice – How Rugged Tablet Tech Meets Extreme Temperature Challenges

Fire-and-Ice----How-Rugged-Tablet-Tech-Meets-Extreme-Temperature-Challen...When rescue officials like firefighters go onto the field, they need gear that can stand up to the stresses of their job. Settling for suits and gloves that can’t withstand extreme temperatures makes no sense, so why should they settle when it comes to their electronics?

Consumer-grade tablets will likely never come into contact with fire or extreme temperatures, so there’s no need to protect them against those dangers. However, in situations where tablet technology is necessary for high-temperature areas, heat-proofing them becomes paramount. Rugged tech is designed for hard use, and that includes extreme temperature situations.

Purpose-built tablets with firefighters and rescue groups in mind, these tablets can withstand heat, water, shock damage, and impact damage. Whether they’re being held by a coordinator or on the body of someone heading into the fray, they will continue to function through extremes that consumer-grade tablets would succumb to. This kind of durability is found in military technology for the same reason — it’s built to last and endure even in the most demanding environments.

Rugged tablets can be mounted and used as GPS systems or used to locate hydrants and navigate maps or area schematics. Possible dangers can be addressed, safe areas can be mapped out, and chaos and panic can be avoided. Recording and streaming functions can be used to relay current situations to social media, keeping the public informed during a disaster.

Tablet technology can connect to 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networks, making them ideal to send warnings, receive real-time updates, and communicate wirelessly with officials and fellow rescue teams. Weather updates, wind speeds, and disaster reports can be streamlined straight to the hands of the people in charge, so changes that may affect an operation can be handled before they become an issue. Teams can stay connected with their coordinators wirelessly, making sure that everything goes according to plan at all times.

With this increased situational awareness, the safety of both F&R officers and civilians alike is boosted. Conflicts in planning can be avoided, and with less confusion, F&R teams can focus on saving lives and keeping themselves safe. It is important that a team works cohesively amongst themselves and their superiors, and tablet technology can keep everyone connected and informed.

Rugged Tablets for the Military Must Meet Exacting Standards

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:

Dry Threats

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

Wet Threats

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.

Impact Threats

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.

Visibility Issues

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.

Temperature Extremes

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.