The MAGIC project supports research on how to build high speed distributed systems that accommodate the variable performance encountered in wide area ATM internets. In MAGIC, a network-based storage system and terrain visualization application form part of a prototype high speed, distributed system. To create a terrain scene in real time, appropriate portions of imagery are supplied by multiple storage servers operating in parallel from many different sites on the MAGIC wide-area network to form a high-speed aggregrate data stream. This data stream is transported by the network into a user workstation that creates the 3D scene.

3D view of military training facility with real-time vehicle position, indicated by the blue line, superposed on the terrain. The view of the terrain, created in real time in response to commands from a user, was generated from digital imagery residing on network-based storage devices distributed across a high-speed wide area network.

MAGIC is a multi-organization project focused on the development of a gigabit testbed and its use both for research in high-speed ATM internetworks and distributed storage systems and for the demonstration of a defense-related application. Participants in the project include more than a dozen organizations from government, industry, and academia. Some of the organizations are ARPA-funded, and some are telecommunications carriers and equipment suppliers who are contributing equipment, facilities, and/or personnel.

The MAGIC testbed comprises three principal components: an interactive terrain visualization application (TerraVision), a distributed image server system (ISS), and a high-speed internetwork to link the computing resources. TerraVision allows a user to view and navigate through a representation of a landscape; it requires large amounts of data in real time, transferred at bursty or at steady rates. Locations of vehicles (e.g.,from training exercises) can be superimposed on the view of the terrain and updated in real time. The ISS stores, organizes, and retrieves the processed images and elevation data required by TerraVision. The ISS consists of multiple coordinated data servers that can be distributed around a wide area network. The MAGIC internetwork consists of several LANs interconnected by a wide area backbone network, and is based on SONET and ATM. The network provides trunk speeds of 2.4 Gbps and access speeds of 155 and 622 Mbps.

MAGIC development has been structured into two phases. In Phase I, initial versions of the WAN and of TerraVision were developed; the backbone comprises point-to-point SONET links interconnecting ATM LANs at user sites, and the application uses pre-processed images. In Phase II, the backbone is being converted to an ATM switched network, the application is being enhanced to permit near-real-time generation of processed images, and the MAGIC facilities are being used for research and performance measurements on ATM internetworks.


The MAGIC sketch is available as: The 3D view is available as: