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Secure RPS Orion

Lightweight rugged tablet for military applications
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Rugged Portable Systems is a division of Secure Communication Systems, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based company that has been providing hardware solutions to the US military since 1986. They have delivered over 50,000 military logistical solutions to prime contractors and all the branches of the US military. The company's mission is to provide war fighters with innovative and reliable equipment and back it up with dedicated support. Secure Communications designs and manufactures rugged portable computer systems, rugged LCD displays, thin clients, fully sealed workstations, handheld computers, and peripheral products that perform under the harshest conditions. The company carries ISO 9001:2000 certification.

The Orion workstation shown here is a very small and compact portable system that provides Windows XP power to wearable, handheld and vehicle-mounted ground requirements. The device measures just 8.3 x 5.6 inches and is less than two inches thick. It weighs a bit over two pounds.

The Orion is powered by a very energy-efficient 1GHz VIA Eden processor that supports up to a gigabyte of RAM. The standard configuration comes with a 32GB solid state disk, with capacities up to 64GB available. The disk can be completely zeroized within a split second via a hardware button combination. The 6.4-inch transflective VGA (640 x 480 pixels) display with resistive touch screen digitizer is sunlight-readable, has a strong 500 nit backlight, and is night vision compatible (you can dim it to less than 1.5 nits). The system is primarily configured for vehicle power, but also has a hold-over battery with integrated charger that runs the machine for up to 30 minute deployments.

Connectivity is via two miniature rugged I/O connectors that provide two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, and power.

The Orion has a two-piece magnesium alloy chassis and additional protection via black rubber bumpers on all four side, protecting all eight corners. There is no reference to MIL-STD-810F testing but Secure Communications states that the machine can operate within a range of 14 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, survive significant shock and vibration, has been humidity and altitute tested, and is sealed to IP54 standards where the "5" stands for protection against dust and the "4" for protection against water spray from all directions.

The Orion is one of several similar configurations, all designed to provide specific capabilities to troops and others who need small and lightweight specialized mobile computing solutions.

Added/changed Added 07/2008, uodated 03/2011
Form-factor Rugged Tablet PC slate
Processor VIA Eden ULV
CPU Speed 1.0 GHz
OS Windows XP
Chipset unknown
Standard/Max RAM Up to 1GB
Disk/drive 32 to 64GB solid state disk
Card slots None
Display type Transflective sunlight-readable TFT with 500 nit backlight, NVG compatible
Display size/res 6.4-inch/640 x 480
Digitizer/pens Resistive touch screen
Keyboard/scale External
Vibration 2G RMS, 20-500Hz, 3 axes
Operating temp 14 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit
Sealing IP54
Drop 2-1/2 foot drop
Housing Magnesium alloy housing
Size (WxHxD) 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.7
Weight 2.2 lbs.
Power 15VDC; up to 30 minutes hold-up, integrated charger
Interface 2 USB 2.0, 10/100 LAN via two rugged circular I/O connectors
Wireless NA
List price Inquire
Contact Secure RPS
Phone 714-547-1174
Web RuggedPC Review