How Peli Helps Military & Armed Forces: 19-inch Rack Cases
When many think of military and defense, they likely picture firefights on the battle field with soldiers clad in camouflage fatigues touting rifles and bazookas, operating tanks and riding in Humvees. However, as technology has evolved, modern military operations have become more complex and varied than ever. Consequently, in addition to combat, the military is increasingly focused on Information Technology (IT).
Military intelligence, military operation plans, military personnel and supply transportation logistics are all highly dependent on IT. Additionally, all of that information must be protected, thus data security, encryption and hacking protection also pose major challenges. Thus, IT plays a massive role in modern military and strategic defence.
The Role of IT and Military
As is evident from the above, it’s pretty safe to say that as military operations have evolved to include IT, so has their equipment evolved. IT equipment is imperative to military strategy, whether that is on friendly territory or behind enemy lines. Sensitive IT equipment required by the military demands a high level of protection and its transportation to operational areas and combat zones is paramount to their success.
State-of-the-art equipment such as servers for radio and telecommunications technology, control systems and systems for monitoring and reconnaissance are transported to military operation areas around the globe for on-site operation. During transportation, IT systems must be protected from inclement weather conditions which can cause dust, sand, and moisture, among other things, to ruin IT equipment. Given that transport is also onerous physically, this same equipment must be protected from potential vibrations and shocks.
19-inch Racks for Mobile Military Applications
What is a Rack Case?
The ideal transport solution to protect IT equipment is a portable 19-inch rack case. A 19-inch rack is a standardized frame or enclosure for mounting multiple electronic equipment modules. Each module has a front panel that is 19 inches (482.6 mm) wide. The 19-inch dimension includes the edges or “ears” that protrude from each side of the equipment, allowing the module to be fastened to the rack frame with screws.
One of the many advantages of portable rack cases for military IT specialists is that they are able to connect and configure all systems to one unit housed in the case, so that only a few cables have to be connected on site. This plug-and-play system allows for the quick deployment of the IT equipment on site, providing valuable time savings to military personnel.
Although the above may seem fairly straightforward, the strict specification requirements of rack cases are anything but.
Rack cases must house a sturdy 19″ frame inside to mount sensitive electronics.
They must have a certain lid depth to accommodate the connectors and cables.
They must be able to be able to be used for various IT applications.
During transport, the case must not allow any shocks and vibrations to occur to the sensitive equipment and must also ensure effective protection against external elements such as moisture and dust.
Rack cases must be easily handled and transported. Most will be equipped with fixed wheels, also known as caster wheels, while many are stackable. This is indispensable in order to be able to quickly deploy the IT equipment and guarantee its operation.
“Peli Products has been working on the topic of technical transport packaging for over 40 years now and we are well aware of the strict requirements of the military when it comes to protecting their sensitive IT equipment. Often it is the small details that you have to keep in mind,” says Stefan Wolf, Peli Products Sales Manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “Many devices are of varying degrees of sensitivity to external influences, which means much attention must be paid to the exact specifications of the user’s IT equipment that is to be mounted in each case.”
PELI Rack Cases
Peli Products is a manufacturer of 19-inch high-impact polyethylene rack cases with built-in frames for the mounting of electronic devices of all kinds. Shock mounts made of elastic plastic or other protective materials are incorporated into the cases to provide a buffer zone between the inner 19-inch frame and the walls of case. This isolates the devices housed inside the cases and allows for the absorption of shocks and vibrations without harming the devices.
Wolf continues, “The most important aspects to consider for an initial selection of the right rack is the height, length, and weight of the devices to be housed in the case. This will determine which is the appropriate case size. Next, the so-called G Fragility rating of the system components must be considered.”
G-Fragility Rating – What is it?
The Fragility Rating indicates how well an electronic device is protected against impacts. The fragility of an item is normally expressed in “G” units. These G Units are a measure of the force exerted on bodies by the earth’s gravitational pull. Products with a larger g-force rating require less protection from shock and vibration. For instance, an item with 20 G fragility will suffer damage when subjected to a force 20 times that of earth’s gravity. The fragility of an instrument or piece of equipment is usually determined by laboratory testing and in many cases the manufacturer of the equipment to be housed in the case will indicate the G Fragility Rating.
Rack Unit – What is it?
Peli 19-inch rack cases are not only designed for different levels of fragility, but they must also be adapted to the exact needs of the user, which starts with the height.
“With a high level of customisation, Peli can accommodate IT equipment of almost all height requirements from 3 to 27 rack units.”
A rack unit, abbreviated as U and sometimes RU, is the standard unit of measurement applied to rack mounts and the servers, disk drives and other devices that they contain. A rack unit corresponds to a height of 1.75 inches or 44.45 millimetres.
Rack Depth, Weight and Other Made to Order Options
The rack depth and weight of the equipment to be housed in the case must also be taken into account, but Peli cases are fully configurable and can be made to order.
“For example, there are multiple rack depths, removable or fixed caster wheels, slide-out 19-inch frames and drawers, and pockets in the lid for storing cables, and much more. Peli’s engineering team takes into account the smallest details. For instance, the choice of the case color is important because it can affect the internal temperature. Other details such as the possibility to attach the lids to the side of the case during operation or the inclusion of small rollers in the lids for easy handling allow us to find a perfect solution for every user,” concludes Wolf.
Evolve: Military & IT
As technology evolves, the requirements for the armed forces will continue to evolve with it in the coming years. This will mean increasingly complex tasks and operations; however, at the same time it will provide the military with more flexibility. Decentralized IT solutions with mobile operating centers and local area networks can only be offered and developed with the help of mobile IT infrastructure. The challenge of transporting and moving IT equipment to remote areas should play a significant role in this respect and should be included in the planning process during the construction of the entire IT infrastructure.