TOUGHBOOK Ahoy! Rugged devices saving lives at sea.
Isabelle Joschke will be relying on the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK to guide her on her journey in the world’s toughest sailing race, the Vendée Globe 2020, in just over a month’s time. It's considered an extreme quest of individual endurance and the ultimate test in ocean racing. The single-handed, non-stop, round the world yacht race was founded by Philippe Jeantot in 1989, and since 1992 has taken place every four years.
Panasonic TOUGHBOOK has been supporting Isabelle Joschke in her races and sea crossings for the past decade. It was thanks to Raphaëla Le Gouvello, a famous French windsurfer herself and Panasonic partner, that the sailor contacted us for the first time in 2007. A year later, our partnership was formed to support Isabelle in her first solo race in Figaro Bénéteau.
Since then, Isabelle has used the TOUGHBOOK G1 tablet, with its resistance to all weather conditions and shocks a significant advantage during a race at sea.
Then when first participating in the Vendée Globe, she also took the TOUGHBOOK 33, a detachable, ultra-rugged laptop, which was connected to the ship's docking station to provide a precise location in real-time.
When travelling at sea, cartography is essential to plotting your path and finding your way across the world’s oceans, says Isabelle. All today’s skippers use computer equipment for this job but when out on the ocean alone, you have to be able to rely on that equipment one hundred percent and Isabelle has that relationship of trust with Panasonic devices. We wish her all the best for her forthcoming intrepid journey.
Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices are also being used by scientists to map and study whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. ACCOBAMS, or The Agreement for the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area – to give it its full name! - was created in 2001, and has been signed by 24 countries, with the aim of protecting and studying the marine populations. The survey assesses the conditions of the aquatic mammal population throughout the area.
The survey began during the summer of 2018 and 2019, and is now moving towards its final phase. Over 100 scientific observers have participated in the project, working at sea and in the sky with 8 dedicated aircraft and 6 boats. In approximately four combined months of fieldwork they have covered more than 92,000 km, moving on specific tracks, selected using statistical software.
An important tool for the observers during their missions are the rugged and semi-rugged Panasonic TOUGHBOOK notebooks. The long battery life, easily viewable screens in bright sunlight and their ability to operate in extreme environmental conditions, such as at high temperatures and despite water splashes, made them ideal for this use.
Being able to count on reliable devices was crucial in executing the project, said Simone Panigada, scientific coordinator at the ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative. When carrying out such a complicated initiative, based on real-time observation, there is no room for technical problems, as it can jeopardize the collection of data or waste an entire working day.
With two survey rounds in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, ACCOBAMS has had a unique opportunity to collect data not only on cetaceans, but also on other marine species, as well as monitoring marine litter and underwater noise. The results will serve as a valuable baseline to monitor population trends, but will also be considered in light of existing threats to the water mammals and lead to conservation recommendations.
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