8/8/2007 - San Diego, CA - The team of Rockwell Collins and
Cubic Defense Applications, Inc. announced that their new Mini-Common
Data Link (CDL) system has been successfully flight tested on
a King Air platform and a Killer Bee Unmanned Aerial System
During the testing, which was witnessed by representatives
of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps, the Mini-CDL
demonstrated bi-directional communications out to 20 miles.
The Mini-CDL prototype, which weighs less than 1.5 pounds, demonstrated
interoperability with existing CDL Rev F compliant systems.
"These tests are an important step in the development
of the Mini-CDL system," said Rick Lober, senior vice president
and general manager of Cubic's Communications and Electronics
business unit. "The flight tests demonstrated interoperability
of the prototype with CDL-compliant equipment, which will enable
small UAVs to operate in a DoD-standard communications environment
with larger unmanned and manned systems."
During the initial flight tests, a prototype air terminal was
flown aboard the King Air at Cubic's San Diego headquarters.
The system was also integrated into Swift Engineering's Killer
Bee UAS and flight tested at the Navy's El Centro Naval Air
The tests support the military's goal of developing CDL terminals
that meet the payload restrictions of Small Unmanned Aerial
Systems (SUAS) platforms and enable data link communication
with current ground systems. Existing common data link systems
are too heavy and too large to fit within the SUAS platforms.
"The Mini-CDL will ensure interoperable communications
for the small UAVs," said Bruce King, vice president and
general manager of Communication Systems for Rockwell Collins.
"It will enable the Services to equip their smaller airborne
vehicles with a data link that offers much greater capability
and security than those in use today, while meeting DoD policy
and the small size and weight restrictions required in these
types of UAVs."
During the tests, the aircraft successfully transmitted high-bandwidth
streaming video from on-board video cameras to the ground station
below. The air terminal achieved data rates up to 10.7 Mbps,
approximately three times the speed of a typical cable modem.
The Mini-CDL is designed to operate at rates up to 45 Mbps and
achieves interoperability with other vendors' units through
compliance with the current DoD CDL waveform specification.
Source: Rockwell Collins Press Release