Tactical Command Data Link (TCDL)


Tactical Command Data Link (TCDL)

The Tactical Command Data Link (TCDL) is a secure data link currently being developed by the U.S. military to send secure data and streaming video links from airborne platforms to ground stations. The TCDL can accept data from many different sources, then encrypt, multiplex, encode, transmit, demultiplex and route this data at high speeds. It uses a Ku narrow band uplink that is used for both payload and vehicle control, and a wide band downlink for data transfer. The TCDL uses both directional and omni-directional antennas to transmit and receive the Ku band signal. The TCDL was designed for UAV’s, specifically the MQ-8B Fire Scout, as well as manned non-fighter environments. The TCDL transmits radar, imagery, video and other sensor information at rates from 1.544 Mbit/s to 10.7 Mbit/s over ranges of 200 km. It has a Bit Error Rate of 10-6 with COMSEC (Communications Security) and 10-8 without COMSEC. It is also intended that the TCDL will in time support the required higher CDL rates of 45, 137 and 274 Mbit/s.

References

L-3 business segments; http://www.l-3com.com/csw/product/specs/Airborne/TCDLAir.asp

AVIONIC SYSTEMS STANDARDISATION COMMITTEE VIDEO SYSTEMS SUBCOMMITTEE, Issue 1 March 2002 http://www.assconline.co.uk/documents/ASSC_Study_Application_MPEG2_Digital_Video_Compression_Standard.pdf


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