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British Armed Services Rely On Panasonic Toughbooks For Communication On Antarctic Expedition

A British Armed Forces scientific expedition to Antarctica relied on Panasonic Toughbooks for communications during their Scott-inspired explorations to mark the 100th anniversary of his endeavours.

The 24 person expedition, in three teams made up of British Armed Services personnel, explored remote areas and conducted scientific research in the Peninsula Arm of Antarctica to better understand the factors influencing the rapid warming of the region.

The expedition was approved by the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society and also linked to an educational outreach programme to educate primary and secondary school children. The expedition also raised £10,000 for the Help for Heroes charity.

"The four Panasonic Toughbooks we took on the expedition were invaluable for communications," explained Stuart Fletcher, Leader of Red Team 1. "We used the Toughbooks to keep in touch with home via email, to update our website and issue news alerts whilst on the expedition and to record information and store photographs."

"Normal laptops would not have been able to stand-up to the conditions. One minute we were in the hot, air conditioned yacht cabin and the next out in -15 degree freezing temperatures."

The team used Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 and CF-19's on the expedition. Toughbooks are the absolute ultimate in durability and reliability. Characterized by their reliability and consistency in functioning under extreme temperature conditions - they work from -20°C to +60 °C. A magnesium-thickened casing offers maximum protection for the most sensitive components such as the display. Hard drives are secured against impact and shock. A fall from a height of 90cm does not affect functionality in any way, and a special protective coating provides dust and water resistance.

Stuart added that another great benefit in the extreme temperatures was the ability to operate the Toughbook's touch screen with a stylus in gloved hands. "It just made working and operating the devices so much easier, even with the protective clothing and gloves we had to wear," he explained. "The other thing they coped with admirably was the inevitable rough handling that military and extreme environments entail. They stood up to everything - the cold, the wet, being dropped - we simply couldn't break them."

The expedition flew from the UK to Tierra del Fuego via Santiago and then sailed across the Drake Passage from Puerto Williams, in Chile, to the Antarctic Peninsula and back again during their 10-week journey.

The expedition was the first joint expedition mounted to the mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula by the British Armed Services. It followed three joint service expeditions to explore the Antarctic Islands' Elephant, Brabant and Smith and three recent British Army expeditions continuing a series of responsible, ethical and ecological expeditions to the area.

About Panasonic System Communications Company Europe (PSCEU)
PSCEU is the European branch of Panasonic Systems Communications Company, the global B2B division of Panasonic. PSCEU's goal is to improve the working lives of business professionals and help their organizations efficiency and performance. We help organizations capture, compute and communicate all sorts of information: image, voice, and textual data. Products include PBX telephone switches, document printers, professional cameras, projectors, large visual displays and rugged mobile PCs. With around 500 staff, engineering design expertise, global project management capability and a large European partner network, PSCEU offers unrivalled capability in its markets.

The new PSCEU is made up of four business divisions:

  • Communication Solutions including professional scanners, multifunctional printers, telephony systems and HD video conferencing systems.

  • Visual System Solutions including projectors, interactive whiteboards, presentation aids and displays. Panasonic is the European market leader in projectors with 28% revenue share.

  • Professional Camera Solutions including professional audio visual, security and integrated machine vision (IMV) technology. Panasonic is one of the top two professional camera vendors in Europe. The Professional Camera division held an average of 18% market share across Europe for the 12 months up until September 2011 (Source: FutureSource; Volume based sales, total pro camera products)

  • Computer Product Solutions including the Toughbook range of rugged notebooks, Toughpad business tablets and electronic point of sales (EPOS) systems. Panasonic Toughbook is European rugged notebook market leader with 62.9% market share in 2010 (VDC, June 2011)

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen (€71.4 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2012. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net

For further information:
For Panasonic:
Paul Smith, Amber Group: +44 (0)7770 828525 or [email protected]

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