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Design Considerations For RVMS

Creating an application for logging on a small vessel has some distinct challenges. Add to that the many types of great people who are in the Auxiliary and you are stepping far outside of your traditional application design.

People First

In the Auxiliary  there are many different types of people. Ages vary from 18 to 60’s. Computer usage abilities are all over the map. Eye sight can even be a challenge.

We don’t need more to do!
During a SAR event it can get busy. The last thing that is needed is more to do. In using ISIS it could not introduce a bunch of complex time-consuming steps.

What this all adds up to is a requirement for a simple application eventhough the work it is performing may be complex. When designing the interface for ISIS the goal was to make a system that was simple and fast to use.

Do computers and boats mix?

Trying to use a computer on a boat is a challenge. Between rough water and … water period makes for bad conditions for a computer. Hard drives don’t like getting thrown around temperature can be an issue. There are definitely computers and monitors designed for being in these conditions but they are expensive and we are on a budget.  Designing ISIS we had to leverage a platform that would do as good as possible in the above conditions but still be affordable. I’ll cover the hardware in a later post, but we were able to find a computer that fit our needs for $800. When looking at the ruggedized versions we were looking at $3000 plus.

We have been testing the application in its initial state for two weeks now. So far with limited instruction crews have been able to use the system in different conditions and we so far knock on wood have not had a hardware failure yet.

Chris Webb
Electronics Officer
PARA Rescue.

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