Panasonic has tested its Toughpad rugged tablet range by sending two products into near space, where they survived sub-zero temperatures before plunging back to earth at over 250 miles per hour.
The Toughpad FZ-N1 handheld and FZ-G1 tablet were sent up over 34,000 metres hanging from meteorological balloons and surrounded by cameras to film the journey. The devices survived temperatures of -67 Celsius before the balloons exploded and the devices plummeted back to earth.
‘We know our devices are tough, but even our technical experts were not sure if the Toughpad tablets would survive this extreme test,’ said Jon Tucker, European Product Manager, at Panasonic Computer Product Solutions. ‘But they reached near space, three times the normal flying height of a jet and well above the Armstrong line, where humans cannot survive without pressurised suits, and then the fall to earth. Apart from a couple of knocks and scratches, both devices were in perfect working order and were still recording.’
The Panasonic Toughpad devices were launched by Dr Chris Rose and Dr Alex Baker from Sentintospace. The firm specialises in sending and filming objects in near space, preparing the balloon and payload, calculating the flight path, liaising with the Civil Aviation Authority for clearance, then tracking and recovering the payload when it falls back to earth.
Panasonic Toughbook notebooks and Toughpad tablets and handheld devices are designed to operate in harsh environments and help mobile workers improve productivity. The fully rugged devices are shock-, drop- and vibration-tested and designed to withstand water, dust and extreme temperatures. They are used across a range of different industries and services including the military, emergency services, logistics, retail, utilities and transportation.
You can see the Panasonic Toughpad devices on their near space journey here: