NST’s new Tactical Data Link is a small, low cost, adaptive TDMA based radio with advanced user-level control of all TDMA slot allocation supporting simultaneous control, data and video streams.
Developed under USAF/AFRL R&D programs to support multiple use cases for cognitive and adaptive TDMA based applications. The TDL incorporates an Intelligent Resource Monitor (IRM) to control TDMA slots, power, frequency, nodes. It also supports I/O interface router and data translator originally designed for MIL-STD-6016 BDI reporting.
TDL is designed by application integrators for integrators to facilitate development and integration of complex mission critical wireless networks to attached devices from the software, hardware and physical perspective.
TDL’s hardware architecture consists of Lexycom’s Telion 1300 based SDR radio specifically designed for the TDL application, reconfigurable I/O interface board and a 32-bit 250MHz Coldfire MPU module hosting the base TDL and user application.
Unique to the TDL system is the resident embedded application C++ software. The threaded software suite contains all I/O handlers, complex buffer management, SDR management, data translation and routing not found on other implementations, as well as an Intelligent Resource Manager (IRM).
The IRM provides user application level control of the adaptive TDMA slot allocation for placement of
critical control, data, video slots. The IRM addresses dynamic, demand based TDMA slot assignment with the following features:
The IRM allows the user to architect the TDMA schedule based on operational requirements of actual
command, control, data and video payloads on a slot for slot basis as nodes enter and exit the network.
The IRM, with provisions supplied by the radio module, performs spectrum sensing, spectrum management,
spectrum mobility functions and transmit power management.
Another unique TDL feature is the embedded DataMapper Processing Engine (DPE). DPE is a device interface content translator and data distribution message router capable of processing basic as well as sub-commutated device data streams. DPE, via external device ICD databases and the PC DataMapper tool, allows the user to perform automated data interface message translation, create message chains, perform functions and define message triggers based on data content. Complementing the TDL system is a suite of PC tools for system configuration of devices, topology definition, data translation and message scripts, real-time TDMA slot allocation viewer, real-time data reduction (logging, plots, displays).