January 24, 2012

Rough-and-ready handheld takes on wilderness duties

U.S. Forest Service selects a ruggedized mobile computer for data collection in the great outdoors.

By DC Velocity Staff

Think your handhelds operate in rugged conditions? Data collection in refrigerated warehouses and waterfront container terminals is a piece of cake compared to where the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) gathers information. The agency often conducts data collection activities—from sampling timber and seedlings to surveying streams and wildlife—in demanding environments and remote locations that can be hundreds of miles from the nearest repair technician.

When the Forest Service needed a reliable data collection device that could stand up to the elements, it chose a specially modified version of Psion's compact Workabout Pro 3 handheld computer. The USFS has the option to order the devices under the terms of a five-year blanket purchase agreement with Psion partner Handheld Systems Inc.

To meet the Forest Service's stringent requirements, Handheld Systems modified the Workabout Pro 3 to achieve the IP67 standard for water resistance required by the agency.

As part of the USFS's evaluation process, the devices were tested at the Missoula (Mont.) Technology and Development Center, a division of the Forest Service that's responsible for testing equipment for federal and state agencies. No word on whether the evaluation included testing for resistance to mosquitoes, gnawing rodents, and grizzly bears.

Resources Mentioned In This Article

Technology Videos

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.

Subscribe to DC Velocity

Feedback: What did you think of this article? We'd like to hear from you. DC VELOCITY is committed to accuracy and clarity in the delivery of important and useful logistics and supply chain news and information. If you find anything in DC VELOCITY you feel is inaccurate or warrants further explanation, please ?Subject=Feedback - : Rough-and-ready handheld takes on wilderness duties">contact Chief Editor David Maloney. All comments are eligible for publication in the letters section of DC VELOCITY magazine. Please include you name and the name of the company or organization your work for.