By John McHale
SAN DIEGO — Engineers at Z Micro-systems Inc. in San Diego released a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), rugged removable storage module — the Trans-Pak 7 — that is lighter and smaller than previous versions, making it easier for soldiers in the field to handle.
The TransPak 7 holds and protects a variety of storage media, including 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch half-height hard disk drives.
"Weight and size is everything" when it comes to storage modules in the field, says Vladimir Rogov, vice president of industrial design at Z Microsystems. A small, fast, light, field-ready computer is what the military wants, Rogov says.
The new device has a 4.5-gigabyte to 36.4-gigabyte capacity and a net weight of 2.25 pounds, Rogov says. It is also shock-mounted and comes with a removable power supply, he adds
Rogov disputes claims from some companies that COTS equipment is not rugged enough for field applications, and that industry is moving back toward military specifications. COTS products, Rogov contends, can embrace the latest commercial technology and still meet the military's rugged specifications.
The TransPak 7 meets tough MIL-STD 810 hammer test, meets MIL-STD-167 for vibration, and has an operating life of ten years, he adds.
The TransPak 7 also comes with a 5.25-inch half-height docking bay that will fit any computer, Rogov says. The device can plug-in or remove an entire operating system, or a variety of application programs, he adds. This enables users to reproduce lab settings quickly in fielded situations, Rogov explains.
The module has an operating temperature of -5 to 40 degrees Celsius, an operating humidity of 5 to 95 percent non condensing, and an operating altitude of 1,300 to 15,000 feet above sea level. The device also comes with Ultra SCSI, Ultra SCSI 2, and Ultra 160 SCSI options.
The self-contained "hot-swap" removable TransPak 7 module is interchangeable among Z Microsystems' family of SmartStor storage systems, workstations, and servers, Rogov says.
For more information on the TransPak7 contact Z Microsys-tems by phone at 858-657-1000, by fax at 858-657-1001, by mail at Z Microsystems 5945 Pacific Center Blvd., Suite 509, San Diego, Calif. 92121-4309, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.zmicro.com.