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AUSA 2023: General Micro Systems demos manpackable tactical operations centre

A prototype version of General Micro Systems' Extended Manpack X9 variant, being demonstrated at AUSA 2023, Washington, DC. (General Micro Systems)

General Micro Systems (GMS) are demonstrating a manpackable computer prototype of its X9 Spider family of open distributed computing architecture (DCA) small form factor systems, which company officials say can replicate 50–75% of the computing power within a tactical operations centre (TOC) or forward operating base (FOB).

The Extended Manpack X9 variant consists essentially of a single Spider tactical micro server, encased in a fan-based cooling container, that can be loaded into a standard US military backpack or rucksack, GMS chief technology officer Chris Ciufo said. The manpackable X9 computer can drive up to four on-body displays and store up to 20 TB of onboard data, while maintaining connectivity with wireless local area networks (LANs) and personal area networks (PANs), according to a company fact sheet. It is also capable of uplinking to mounted assets such as vehicles or command posts.

β€œNow you wouldn't use this for the typical Nett Warrior application, where you can get away with a Samsung Galaxy phone for battle management [and] resource tracking,” Ciufo told Janes during a 4 October interview ahead of the Association of United States Army (AUSA) 2023 annual conference.

β€œWhat you would do is you would use a system like that to replace a TOC or a FOB worth of equipment that you would normally set up inside a tent, and you would plug into your [satellite communications] or reach-back” capability, he explained.

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