CASE STUDY: UTILITIES Geophysical Survey Ground Penetrating Radar Systems
July 11, 2018 by NASTT Staff
To bring their latest industry-leading Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) systems to market, Geophysical Survey Systems Inc. (GSSI) needed a capable, flexible controller platform for use with their highly specialized devices. After years of operating with a custom controller that couldn’t always keep up with the fast pace of technology evolution, GSSI needed a solution that could support workers in the most challenging conditions and better withstand rigorous use.
After considering other players in the rugged computing market, GSSI decided to pair their GPR device with the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 and Toughpad FZ-M1 tablets, which offer visibility, impressive battery life and best-in-class durability that holds up to the environmental challenges they face every day in the field.
By deploying the Toughpad tablet, GSSI was able to create a partnership with a brand that has a similar reputation for being rugged enough for the toughest field environments. GSSI now offers customers a highly capable solution in a device that will last, eliminating fears of damage or replacement.
As manufacturers of the highest quality ground penetrating radar technology in the market, GSSI is an organization that understands the rigor of field work, and their customers operate in environments that are as tough as it gets. GSSI’s technology aids field work across industries, from construction sites to public utility work and even search and rescue missions following a natural disaster. Despite their reputation for industry leading software, they can’t do it alone. GSSI relied on a custom controller that was hardened for field work. While it met the unique hardware requirements for their ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology, the controller couldn’t keep up with the design cycle and the hardware too frequently became outdated. In a market that requires staying ahead of technological advancements, GSSI sought a new hardware partner to accompany their best-in-class software.
After investigating other options in the rugged tablet market, GSSI ultimately landed on Panasonic because they wanted a partner that had a similar reputation for being rugged and durable. With the assistance of their engineering team, the company purchased a fleet of both the Toughpad FZ-G1 and Toughpad FZ-M1 tablets and designed proprietary software for use with their GPR systems, creating a bundled full-suite package that offers customers full control over these complex, finely-tuned radar systems. A Toughbook customer for over 20 years, GSSI had experience with Toughbook laptops, but for this particular use case, GSSI decided a tablet form factor was the better fit. Lightweight and portable, the tablet doesn’t compromise on performance or screen size and offers portability and offers greater flexibility in the field.
Due to the uniquely challenging environment of their work, a rugged design was the first thing to come to mind for GSSI when considering new hardware. One of the key reasons for choosing Panasonic was simply that Toughbook and Toughpad products are known for holding up to the rigor of tough work conditions. In an environment where concrete is being cut, airborne dust poses a hazard and pleasant weather is never guaranteed, a commercial tablet simply wouldn’t suffice. GSSI needed a device that could withstand the varying conditions of this environment to seal out the elements, and the Toughpad was the right fit for the job. In addition to doing tough work, GSSI customers are known for being tough on their equipment. Operating in construction and safety zones, these devices might be tossed in the back of a truck, shipped around the world and dropped countless times. GSSI needed to ensure that a tablet-based system could endure how their employees handle the devices as much as the environment they work within.
Since GSSI customers primarily work in outdoors environments, visibility and battery life were other crucial features. Particularly in bright light conditions, commercial grade tablets get washed out and critical data is difficult to read on the screen. The ability to ensure visibility in all light conditions was another important aspect. GSSI was also attracted to the added battery life available with the Toughpad. Especially in emergency response and disaster recovery situations, device failure due to battery loss simply isn’t an option.
A result of two companies who pride themselves on serving workers in uniquely challenging environments, this solution will support GSSI customers though whatever conditions they face today, tomorrow and for another 20 years. Panasonic Toughpad was the right choice for GSSI for several reasons, but the main one is clear: it’s built to last.