November 28, 2011

DRS unveils its BackPack MAGIC air crew situational awareness tool

News Report

As reported in a recent press release, DRS Defense Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica's DRS Technologies, announced that its Intelligence, Communications and Avionics Solutions (ICAS) business unit has successfully tested the man-portable backpack version of its MAGIC (Mobile Mapping of Air and Ground Intelligence Collection) Enhanced Situational Awareness airborne mission networking suite.

BackPack MAGIC bridges the situational awareness gap of mounted and dismounted troops to collect and share critical voice, intelligence, and data-link information during missions such as foreign internal defense (FID), personnel recovery, search and rescue, special operations, as well as operations requiring a low profile.

The System

DRS’s Mobile Mapping of Air and Ground Intelligence Communications (MAGIC) is a modifiable avionics mission system designed for air crew situational awareness. It is a scalable, open architecture avionics mission system that provides near real-time geo-located intelligence and sensor data on a moving map display to furnish aircrews increased navigational and situational awareness. MAGIC’s open architecture is optimized for integration of virtually any desired subsystem, including:
  • Intelligence Broadcast Receiver (IBR)
  • Situational Awareness Data Link (SADL)
  • MIDS/Link-16
  • PRC-117G/F
  • Full Motion Video (FMV) Links
  • Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) data sets
The open architecture of MAGIC also provides connections for carry-on systems (BAO Kit, JPADS, PRC-117, Rover, etc.) to the MAGIC bus. Once connected, the remote system user (Airborne Mission Commander, Direct Support Operator, team member, etc.) has access to all of the data, either selectively or fused.

MAGIC, which is expandable, is available in ground station, vehicle and aircraft configurations.

BackPack MAGIC uses commercial handheld display devices to process and display vital situational awareness information at the user’s fingertips via a wireless link to the backpack.  By using a proprietary government software suite, it is capable of receiving and transmitting in line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight modes of operation. Capabilities include providing RF email, full motion video, IP data, voice networking and secure voice.  Packs may be networked in hard-wired or wireless configurations, allowing maximum flexibility.

Weighing in at 26 pounds and enclosed within a commercial soft-sided canvas backpack, this compact package gives the warfighter enhanced data, voice, intelligence, threat and Blue Force Tracking capability while using popular display devices.  All of the display options include night vision imaging system (NVIS) screen filters.

The pack is able to be shouldered and secured within one minute. The system can run for more than eight hours on its self-contained power source as well as draw power from other sources such as aircraft and ground vehicles.

References: DRS (1,2)


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