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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.

“Now 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.

“What 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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