The US military is a military on the move. It also is a military on the computer and the network. Linking those two aspects together are notebook computers that can be taken on patrol as well as used on the flight line, at a command post, or in a field hospital.
But US military’s notebooks are not like everyday laptops. They are built to withstand the harsh conditions of Afghanistan or the demanding conditions of flight-line maintenance. They need to be rugged and able to withstand sand, water, wind, heat, cold, jarring impacts, and various chemicals and fluids.
This article examines the US military’s standards and criteria for rugged notebook computers, the environmental and work environments that the rugged computers must be able to endure, as well as assessments of how rugged computers respond in practice. But first, let’s examine what we mean by the term “rugged.”
The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has undertaken an R&D effort to provide an integrated approach to combating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) known as the Research and Development Enterprise [PDF]. Their efforts are aimed at improving situational awareness about the WMD threat, controlling WMD materials and systems worldwide, reducing the threat to US troops, protecting the homeland, transforming the US nuclear deterrent, and controlling the threat of loose nuclear weapons in the world.
As part of this effort, DTRA awarded a contract April 18/11 worth up to $600 million to TASC in Chantilly, VA to provide advisory services to the agency’s effort in this area…
The USAF uses its simplified acquisition of base engineering requirements (SABER) contract to fulfill engineering requirements on a variety of projects, ranging from small renovations to large scale infrastructure needs involving pipelines, electrical substations, and life safety issues.
The SABER contract’s main purpose is to expedite contract award of civil engineer requirements through the issuance of individual delivery orders. The contract contains a collection of detailed task specifications that include most types of real property maintenance, repair, and construction work. A number of SABER contracts have been awarded.
Lake Ponchartrain & New Orleans (shaded area) (click to view larger)
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is in the process of doling out large contracts to repair and strengthen flood control infrastructure in New Orleans and the vicinity.
The contracts are being awarded under the Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS – formerly the Hurricane Protection System). USACE has developed an interactive map with the status of all of the projects under this program in the New Orleans area.
The USACE expects to complete construction under the HSDRRS in 2011.