Designing A Mobile Geotechnical Work Center
Working in the field with sensitive instruments and materials is difficult, especially if the lab or work center is too far away. Although it isn't easy to bring a fully-functional research center or processing plant to the field, it is possible to bring the comfort and convenience of a smaller department just a bit closer to your work. If you have a trailer or shelter, consider a few ways to create a mobile work center for geotechnical services.
Building A Computer Control Center
Taking a laptop to the field is easy, but keeping it charged is more difficult. In sensitive work areas such as depleting swamps or archaeological digs, you may not be able to pull electrical and Internet infrastructure through brittle environments. If you're able to bring in a shelter, however, there is hope and the ability to build the system on your own.
Laptops and mobile devices don't need much electricity to regain a charge, and with a new battery the devices can last hours. Pair that charging ability with solar panels attached to batteries. Commercial and residential solar panel storage packs can be stored easily inside a shelter and installed on the top of the roof, and often come with sockets that are already compatible with your computers.
Sending And Receiving Information From The Field
Internet is available almost anywhere these days. If you have a mobile devices such as smartphones, you can send your findings back to any facility with an Internet connection or to an email or website that doesn't require a specific location.
For laptops and larger computers, you'll need a mobile Internet device. Often called hotspots, there's two distinct types of devices that are needed; WiFi and cellular network Internet. WiFi connects to the Internet via a router, which distributes and existing, physical Internet connection. Cellular Internet, commonly known as just a data plan for most phones, connects via phone company antennas in the area.
The mobile device hotspots can be placed anywhere within a phone company's wireless network coverage area. Contact your local companies to find out about their coverage. In addition to the mobile phone industry, there are more expensive satellite Internet providers available for remote areas without antennas.
Make sure that your geotechnical instruments are compatible with your Internet connection, or can be connected to the computers in your shelter or trailer. For help with pairing the instruments with your current technology, consult a geotechnical services professional like GeoTek Alaska Inc.