The Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office, in conjunction
with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency who will act
as the contracting and technical agent for DARO, has selected
three contractor teams for Phase I of the Tactical Common Data
Link program. Following negotiations, each team will receive $1
million for their Phase I efforts.
The winning teams are:
Harris Corp., Melbourne, Fla.; GEC Marconi Hazeltine Corp.,
Wayne, N.J.; and TSI TelSys Inc., Columbia, Md.
Lockheed Martin, Salt Lake City, Utah; Rockwell Collins,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Motorola, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Raytheon E-Systems, Falls
Church, Va.; and Cubic Defense Systems, San Diego, Calif.
The TCDL program is a multiple phase, multiple award program
to develop a family of CDL interoperable digital data links to
support both unmanned and manned airborne reconnaissance
platforms including Outrider, Predator, Reef Point, Rivet Joint,
Joint STARS, Airborne Reconnaissance Low, and others. The TCDL
data link will support air-to-surface transmission of radar,
imagery, video, and other sensor information at a range of up to
200 kilometers. The TCDL will interoperate with existing CDL
systems operating at the 10.71 Mbps return link and the 200 Kbps
command link data rates.
Goals of the TCDL program are to increase capability, lower
cost and increase competition of CDL interoperable equipment.
Further goals of the TCDL program are to emphasize an open
systems architecture using state-of-the-art communications
technology and commercial off-the-shelf systems and components.
Programmable features of TCDL design will enable the system to
operate at up to 45Mbps using commercial products and waveforms
while still retaining CDL interoperability.
Phase I, during which the teams will develop designs for
airborne and surface TCDL terminals for Tactical Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle applications, will last six months. DARO and DARPA will
then choose up to two contractors to continue on into Phase II,
an 18-month prototype development and demonstration effort.
Phase II awards are expected to be approximately $6 million each.
DARPA is acting as DARO's contracting and technical agent
for this effort. The program will be executed under the
authority of Section 845 of the 1994 National Defense
Authorization Act (P.L. 103-160), as amended. Section 845
provides for the acquisition of prototype projects using other
transactions, a non-standard procurement method that gives DoD
and industry increased flexibility.