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BALTIMORE , June 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation(NYSE: NOC) and its teammates L-3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LLL) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) have successfully conducted the first in-flight communications link with an active electronically scanned array(AESA) radar.
"We took our targeting radar and turned it into a 'talking' radar by enabling it to transmit and receive unprecedented amounts of information,"said Teri Marconi , vice president of Northrop Grumman's combat avionics business unit. "We're revolutionizing the way that data is collected, stored and distributed on the battlefield."
The Radar Common Data Link (R-CDL) represents the most advanced conceptand approach in providing a high-speed pipeline to offload data and imagery from a tactical platform. R-CDL uses the AESA radar's fire control transmitter and antenna to perform high-data rate, two-way communications at long ranges.
Synthetic aperture radar map imagery and streaming video were relayed from a Northrop Grumman BAC 1-11 test aircraft to an L-3 Communications groundstation. During the mission, the team transmitted and received in full duplexat 274-megabits per second burst rate. The airborne and ground terminals used off-the-shelf L-3 programmable modems with the addition of a new R-CDLwave form.
This capability complements tactical data links and supports potential future missions conducted by the Lockheed Martin fifth-generation fighter aircraft. This will allow pilots to relay important combat information to the global information grid (GIG) in seconds.