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and provides a means to upload/download mission-critical software into weapon system’s on-board computer electronics. The MSDs are being fielded to support approved Army force structure requirements. “They host the Digital Logbook and Global Combat Support System-Army software, provide Army maintainers the capability to connect to the logistics enterprise, and perform maintenance management in an information-enabled environment,” Briggs said. “The MSDs are the Army’s standard at-system test and diagnostic equipment, are an essential maintenance tool in the support plans for the Army’s ground vehicle and aviation fleets, and are in widespread use, including deployed units.” Miltope also offers a variety of other tablets and handhelds with wide ranges of performance and ruggedness. They include the RTHD2 handheld, a fully rugged handheld computer with a 5-inch display that is primarily used by the dismounted warfighter; the MACH-1 tablet, a thin tablet with a 9.7inch display, which hosts a quad core, lowpower Atom processor; and the RTCU tablet, used when mobile performance matters. The RTHD2 operates with standard commercial-off-the-shelf wireless interfaces such as 802.11, WAN and Bluetooth. This means the RTHD can add on technology without completely redesigning the product. “The ‘expansion packs’ enable us to quickly customize the product to meet specific needs of multiple military customers, such as the ability to add a GPS selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM), Taclink modem, radio interfaces, video receivers or 1553 interfaces, CAN interfaces and barcode scanners, as would be the case for maintenance and inventory users,” Briggs said. The RTHD also is capable of running Windows Mobile or Android OS’s such as a cellphone. “However, since the RTHD is inherently rugged in design, it does not require additional case protection,” she added. “The ability to embed ‘add on’ technology means fewer individual devices and less cabling on the warfighter’s body, as well as an overall cheaper system cost.” RTHD is used on several programs of record in both the Army and Marines. “In particular, the RTHD is used in the Pocket Forward Entry Device, where it hosts a military SAASM GPS, Taclink Modem for radio communications and an interface for a laser range finder for obtaining positions on targets,” Briggs said.

The RTCU Table is a fully ruggedized, 10-inch tablet which hosts an i7 processor with 2GB (up to 8GB) of RAM and a removable, upgradeable hard drive. The RTCU runs a nominal four hours on a single charge. The RTCU features I/O interfaces on the top and left for add-on modules to host an array of technology such as GPS SAASM, UAV video surveillance, radios and other similar communications technology. In addition, there is a docking station interface for attaching to a vehicle-mounted or desktop-docking station. What makes the MACH-1 tablet unique is its ability to customize the I/O side panels for particular connector configurations as well as the ability to configure custom expansion packs, which interface to the back of the tablet and are used to support add-on technology requested by the customer. The MACH-1 also supports WiFi, WAN, LTE and other similar technologies which can be enabled or permanently disabled as requested. The MACH-1 can be mounted to a desktop or a vehicle docking station. Briggs added: “VT Miltope provides fully rugged, MIL-STD-810/461/464/2169 qualified computers for the most demanding operational environments. More than 120,000 units of these rugged computers, configured for missions from vehicle and aircraft maintenance, to blue force tracking-aviation, to forward-area air defense command and control, to aviation mission planning, to mortar ballistic fire control, have been delivered.” A large number of these systems were deployed with U.S. troops in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. “These computers are designed to withstand the harshest tactical environments for computer systems and are used in forward areas under extreme weather and handling conditions,” she said.

Small with Variety Amrel offers a variety of tablets and handhelds for helping the military logistician. One example is its Rocky DK10 rugged tablet, which Robert William Culver, director of Amrel’s business development, described as a fully rugged device. “It’s tested for MIL-STD 810 for environmental challenges such as vibration, shock, temperature, immersion, etc., as well as being available as MIL Std 461 compliant for electromagnetic compatibility,” Culver said.   The 12-inch touchscreen tablet is powered with the Intel Core i7-2610UE 1.5GHz Processor (up to 2.40 GHz), 4M Cache and

Intel HD Graphics 3000. “Add 8 GB of industrial grade RAM and a 500GB hard drive, and there is not much you cannot power in the way of resource-intensive software programs and databases,” he said.   The standard two USB2.0 and a USB3.0 port can handle fast large file transfers. The standard Gigabit LAN port lets military logisticians hook up to their local network or Internet. “The WiFi/Bluetooth (Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235, Dual band) and mobile broadband (HSPA) Gobi 3000 takes of your wireless communications,” Culver continued. “Moreover, you can add a MILSTD 3009 SafeNight DC2.5 night vision filter and Mil Spec connectors.” Culver recommends that the DK10 or similar rugged tablet would be a great device to use with the Army’s Standard Army Maintenance System-Enhanced system, or the Navy’s Portable Electronic Maintenance Aid. In the handheld arena, Amrel offers the DB6, which runs a full Windows OS as opposed to simply a mobile OS. “This means you can still run your resource-hungry programs and databases,” Culver explained. “It still uses standard windows desktop applications, but in a device that fits in a cargo pocket. It also offers the same rugged standards as the DK10 above.” In addition, Amrel offers the DF6/DF7, which allows one to run Windows CE or Android, respectively on a fully rugged device weighing less than a pound. Culver explained that devices like this could be used in the Army’s Nett Warrior program. Currently, the Army is using the Samsung Galaxy Note in a protective case.  While the protective case might protect the screen or case of the Galaxy Note, it really can’t do anything to protect the internals for vibration or excessive temperatures commonly encountered by soldiers. “Part of what makes Amrel unique from our some competitors is that these are truly rugged devices, as opposed to standard computing hardware repackaged in a ruggedlooking case,” Culver added. “The other part is the amount of customization we are willing to do. Another difference is Amrel’s customer service. “A customer once told me the reason he chose us was simply because we returned his phone calls,” Culver said. O For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at or search our online archives for related stories at

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