OXLEY Inc. – PUTTING THE RAPID INTO TACTICAL SHELTER DEPLOYMENT
Tactical shelters are rapidly evolving, improving almost as fast as today’s 21st century armies and mobile hospitals around the globe can deploy them. But while shelters were becoming state-of-the-art in the late 90s, advances were not keeping pace. Chief among them — lighting.
A major obstacle has been that, historically, mobile surgical units were illuminated by strings of fluorescents. That system was fraught with problems. The fragile fluorescent tubes had to be packed and delivered separately from the rest of a mobile unit’s components, and sometimes installed after the unit had been erected on site, providing a framework for their installation. This made nocturnal operations extremely problematic. Military personnel often found themselves erecting the outdated units, at night, using the headlights of vehicles for illumination.
Once the units were assembled, some of the fluorescent bulbs needed warm-up time before they provided full illumination. Even then they produced light of poor color temperature, that could alter the appearance of objects went shelters are used as surgical procedures.
Fluorescent lights were, and continue to be, fragile and prone to breakage in the often remote locations where the hospitals were required. And even when they did not break, discarding burned out tubes presented environmental challenges.
More reliable and flexible lighting was required, and in 2004, two companies came together to solve the problem.
St. Johnsbury, Vermont-based Mobile Medical International Corporation (MMIC) was launched in 1994 and is the leader in certified and accredited mobile surgery facilities that are both cost effective and portable enough to deliver surgical services and advanced diagnostics treatment to rural and underserved areas worldwide. Applying years of experience in the design and manufacture of the commercial Mobile Surgery Unit TM to its family of deployable shelter systems, MMIC has set the standards high in bringing ‘equivalency of care’ to the theatre of operations. Rapid deployment and self-sustainment are key operational requirements that lead MMIC to designing a fully integrated family of deployable shelters that are operational within minutes of arriving. For more reliable and flexible lighting MMIC turned to Oxley Inc. Oxley boasts a nearly 70-year history of developing electronic and electromechanical components and systems for many applications and industries, including aircraft.
The challenge was to build rugged, low-weight lighting that could produce high quality illumination, of optimum color temperature, while using minimal power. The market was void of such a product. To ensure the rapid deployment of MMIC shelters systems is not hampered, during deployment, the new lighting had to be integrated in both soft-sided and ridged-wall shelters. Together, Oxley and MMIC began a 12-month research and development project resulting in a new generation of remarkably durable LED lights that were just what MMIC needed.
“We were able to utilize our knowledge and experience in aircraft LED lighting to develop rugged LED lighting for Mobile Medical” says Oxley Inc. CEO Martin Sloan. “LEDs offer significant advantages for shelter systems, however, to be most effective they need to be integrated and controlled to get the most from the technology. The Mobile Medical shelter system is an excellent example of LED integration and it demonstrates the major advantages, over traditional lighting, to the users.”
Ideal for diagnostic and surgical procedures, Oxley LED lighting floods the MMIC family of rapid deployable shelters with the kind of bright, crystal clear illumination that does not alter color or clarity. And unlike the fluorescents, the Oxley lights are fully integrated into the MMIC shelters. Oxley advanced LED lighting is either integrated in the ceilings of MMIC hard shelters or suspended in the