Air Force Research Laboratory, Sensors Directorate (AFRL/PKSE) solicits research proposals to ... implement an airborne Common Data Link (CDL) terminal for use in Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS). Due to the payload restrictions of these systems, using present CDL equipment is prohibitive, and has contributed to the proliferation of platform specific data link systems.
This effort shall examine the size, weight, and power requirements for SUAS platforms, and develop a CDL terminal capable of providing these platforms with CDL capability, with the intent of reducing the need for further unique systems. In addition, the Mini-CDL terminal shall be capable of communicating with existing ground systems which employ CDL terminals. ...
From: Miniature Common Data Link (Mini-CDL), Air Force Research Laboratory, Sensors Directorate8/18/2006
... the Mini-CDL should be capable of being fitted to, and carried by, UAVs in the 4-90kg (9-88lb) maximum take-off weight range ...
The Mini-CDL concept follows on from revised guidance released by the Pentagon last December, which mandated CDL standards be used for all airborne sensor imagery transmissions to enable improved system interoperability. Existing CDL architecture products are unable to be used on small UAV systems because of weight and space restrictions, giving rise to a significant number of platform-unique datalinks. In turn, this has affected frequency availability in battlefield environments.
SOURCE: Flightglobal.com --Peter La Franchi--
From: USAF AFRL launches mini common datalink project for small UAVs, Submitted by nestorb on Fri, 2006-08-25 13:35.
Common Data Link (CDL) The US DoD designated the Common Data Link (CDL) as its standard for use in imagery and signals intelligence in 1991. This link consists of a secure, jam resistant uplink operating at 200kbps and a down link that can operate at 10.71 Mbps, 137 Mbps or 234 Mbps (currently only the first of these downlink rates is secure).
There are five classes of link in the CDL family to achieve both line-of-sight (LOS) and, using relay, beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS):
From: Tactical Data Links - Common Data Link (CDL) Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) High Integrity Data Link (HIDL), Stasys