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Proceedings Paper

Results from L-3/Rockwell TCDL flight tests on Predator
Author(s): Larry Sawyer; David Jenny
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Paper Abstract

The L-3 Communications/Rockwell Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) flight tests were conducted during March/April 1999 using a General Atomics "Predator" UAV. This successful culmination of "phase 2" of the DARPA TCDL program has shown the utility of adapting Common Data Link hardware to provide secure digital command/control and sensor data transmission for a wide class of UAVs as well as manned air vehicles. Use of CDL on UAVs will ensure cross program as well as cross service compatibility, providing the Warfighter with immediate access to real time sensor data regardless of which platforms are operating in theatre. Digital communication enables simple integration of a wide class of new video and (especially) non-video sensors onto UAVs. To provide context for the flight test results, this paper will first provide some background on the CDL program, then review the essential features, capabilities, and growth options of the L-3 Communications/Rockwell TCDL offering. It will then cover results of the test and validation process, from testing in L-3's labs to integration at GA's System Integration Lab, installation of the equipment onto the Predator at El Mirage, taxi testing, initial flight tests as a payload, and finally complete control of the air vehicle while airborne.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 December 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3751, Airborne Reconnaissance XXIII, (7 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.372639
Show Author Affiliations
Larry Sawyer, L-3 Communications (United States)
David Jenny, L-3 Communications (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3751:
Airborne Reconnaissance XXIII
Wallace G. Fishell, Editor(s)

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