Today we will discuss Tactical Power or for those not in the Defense Industry known as rugged field portable power. Tactical power has many applications and comes in many different packages. One of the key differences between Tactical Power and Field portable power is that Tactical Power is typically designed with the Military in mind so it meets military standards known as MIL-STD. These MIL-STDs encompass a wide range of electrical and environmental requirements such as shock and vibration levels, shipboard power requirements and EMI levels. These requirements are usually much more stringent than those found in the commercial market. The various products that can be used for Tactical power are the following:
Generators for Tactical applications can range from small back packable sized unit to large truck mounted units. These sizes can range from 1000VA to Megawatt in size and can be used to charged small electronics such as radios and computer up to augmenting the local power grid during an emergency situation where there would be a major power outage.
Solar options for Tactical power will range from milli-watt applications to recharge batteries for radios, Night vision equipment, and thermal optics to large arrays mounted on soft-walled shelter that helps support daily operation requirements.
Tactical Uninterruptible Power System (UPS)
A UPS in this category typically come in two form factors. The first form factor is a hard mount or universal style that can be mounted to a bulkhead of vehicle. This type of UPS usually range from a smaller size in the hundred watt ranges for critical computer and radio application to 4000W for larger computer processing and back up. The other form factor is a case mounted UPS. These UPS configurations are typically designed to be easily mobile for Forward Operating Base (FOB) style operations and power radios. These units may have both a DC input as well as a wide range AC input with varable frequency to allow the unit to be powered from a vehicle or any available power source. Due to size and mobility constraints these units are typically 1000VA to 2500VA and can be configured in a redundant configurations.
Portable Power Distribution Units (PDU)
In the Tactical environment PDU’s are usually larger frame mounted systems that can be used to provide power from a generator to equipment within an operation center or FOB. Smaller PDU’s can be used within computer systems to provide power within the system. Depending on the system these PDUs can either be traditional rack mounted or a case mounted style.
These PDU’s can be manually operated or upgraded to have intllegence for remote monitoring and control.
Portable Inverter Systems
These types of systems are typically case mounted or hard mount universal style systems. These systems are generally utilized to provide power from a vehicle input or a solar power system and can range in power from a few hundred watts to 3000 watts.
While Tactical Power comes in many different forms, the two key driving factors that differentiate Tactical Power from traditional power equipment are performance, mobility and ruggedness. If the equipment used does not survive a rugged field environment failures will result and lives can be put at risk for the warfighter. If equipment is not mobile field operations can be put at risk once again resulting in potential loss of lives and mission failure. So it is critical that both rugged and mobile be considered when looking for Tactical Power.