In a recent British Armed Forces scientific expedition to Antarctica, Panasonic Toughbooks gave the 24 person expedition the support it need for communication during their Scott-inspired explorations to mark the 100th anniversary of his endeavours.
In three teams made up of British Armed Services personnel, the expedition explored remote areas and conducted scientific research in the Peninsula Arm of Antarctica to better understand the factors influencing the rapid warming of the region. The expedition was approved by the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society and also linked to an educational outreach programme to educate primary and secondary school children. The expedition also raised £10,000 for the Help for Heroes charity.
To aid the expedition, Panasonic provided four Toughbooks for the team to take on board and was able to take on the role to the name it was given- TOUGH.
"The four Panasonic Toughbooks we took on the expedition were invaluable for communications," explained Stuart Fletcher, Leader of Red Team 1. "We used the Toughbooks to keep in touch with home via email, to update our website and issue news alerts whilst on the expedition and to record information and store photographs."
"Normal laptops would not have been able to stand-up to the conditions. One minute we were in the hot, air conditioned yacht cabin and the next out in -15 degree freezing temperatures."
- Toughbook CF-19
- Toughbook CF-31
The team used Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 and CF-19's on the expedition. Toughbooks are the absolute ultimate in durability and reliability. Characterized by their reliability and consistency in functioning under extreme temperature conditions - they work from -20°C to +60 °C. A magnesium-thickened casing offers maximum protection for the most sensitive components such as the display. Hard drives are secured against impact and shock. A fall from a height of 90cm does not affect functionality in any way, and a special protective coating provides dust and water resistance.
Stuart added that another great benefit in the extreme temperatures was the ability to operate the Toughbook's touch screen with a stylus in gloved hands. "It just made working and operating the devices so much easier, even with the protective clothing and gloves we had to wear," he explained. "The other thing they coped with admirably was the inevitable rough handling that military and extreme environments entail. They stood up to everything - the cold, the wet, being dropped - we simply couldn't break them."
- Similarly, Toughbook CF-19 Endures Vibration, Shock and Freezing Temperatures in this Video
The expedition flew from the UK to Tierra del Fuego via Santiago and then sailed across the Drake Passage from Peurto Williams, in Chile, to the Antarctic Peninsula and back again during their 10-week journey.
The expedition was the first joint expedition mounted to the mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula by the British Armed Services. If you are more interested about their expeditions, you can view the webpage of the expedition team here http://www.bsae2012.co.uk/