The XM-7 Spider system consists of up to 84 Munition Control Units (MCUs). They are set up by humans, unlike some land mines that are fired into place using artillery, mortars, or rockets. A tripwire container fires out 6 trip-wires when the device is activated by the human operator. As one might expect, each MCU can contain up to 6 reloadable canisters spaced around the device, each of which covers a 60 degree arc to create full 360 degree coverage. Payloads can be anything from Claymore-style steel balls or fragments, to non-lethal gasses or goo; ATK’s XM-7 data sheet even has a photo that shows an M18 Claymore adapter, which lets the Claymore’s wire plug into one of the MCU’s sockets.
The core MCU is powered by a replaceable battery, which can keep the device operational for at least 30 days. When an MCU is active, a GPS chip will report its location over an encrypted link to ensure that it doesn’t get lost. Once that battery fails, however, so does the MCU. This may seem like a poor design feature, but it’s a deliberate decision taken to ensure that XM-7s which are left behind in the fog of war don’t become future threats to human life.
All MCUs are controlled by a human-operated Remote Control Station (RCS), which is a standard rugged laptop computer, equipped with a touchscreen. If necessary, a signal repeater can extend communication range beyond 1 mile/ 1.5 km.