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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Modernized Interoperable Surface Terminal (MIST)

The Common Data Link (CDL) is a full duplex, jam resistant, point-to-point, microwave communications system developed by the Government for use in imagery and signals intelligence systems. It provides an interoperable, high bandwidth, digital data link for air-to-ground, air-to-surface, and air-to-satellite (relay) communications in airborne reconnaissance systems. The term CDL refers to a family of interoperable data links offering alternate levels of capabilities for different specific applications. Specific functions identified for airborne reconnaissance include the Modernized Interoperable Surface Terminal (MIST), the Tactical Interoperable Ground Data Link (TIGDL), and the Common High Bandwidth Data Link Surface Terminal (CHBDL-ST) and their corresponding Interface Control Documents (ICD). There are presently efforts within DARP to standardize the different data link standards into a single standard.

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Updated Wednesday, November 25, 1998 8:10:30 AM