Elbit Systems RPDA-57|
Rugged multi-function military Pocket PC
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Formerly known as Tallahassee Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Tadiran Communications, and now part of Elbit Systems of America, C4I Solutions specializes in the design, development and production of military, industrial and commercial communications equipment, rugged military computers and rugged PDAs. Elbit Systems is a supplier of tactical handheld computers to the US Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy.
The R-PDA-57 is a rugged multi-function PDA. It is a design in its fifth generation, and it shows: the platform is state-of-the-art with Windows CE 5.0 running on a 520MHz PXA270 processor. The device has 128MB of SDRAM and 64MB of ROM. A large 3.8-inch QVGA LCD means you can actually see what you're doing.
The R-PDA uses aluminum construction and is designed to pass the most stringent ruggedness tests. It can operate in temperatures between -4 to 131 degree Fahrenheit, is EMI-tested to MIL-STD-461E specs, and can actually be immersed into water down to over three feet. The specs do not indicate an IP rating, but we'd guess it is IP58.
The RPDA-57 has a unique modular design that consists of the core computer which has a SD Card slot, a serial port, audio in/out, and an internal 1400mAH Lithium-polymer battery. It can optionally be equipped with 802.11b WiFi, Bluetooth and USB host functionality via an adapter. The core "Type A" unit measures 6.1 x 3.6 inches and is about an inch thick.
A variety of "modular backs" add functionality. A "Type C1" unit adds two PC Card Type II slots and an additional 3600mAH internal Lithium-polymer battery. The footprint stays the same, and the C1 is 2.6 inches thick.
Special GPS backs include embedded military or commercial GPS receivers as well as a harsh environment sealed dome with an powerful GPS antenna. They also include yet another 3,600mAH battery and may have a military GPS Fill connector. If even three batteries aren't enough, an external snap-on battery adapter ads no fewer than 10 standard AAs.
In June of 2007, Tallahassee Technologies received a $18.5 million purchase order from the US Marine Corps for the RPDA-57 (see release).