What is an SCISR Radio?

What is an SCISR Radio or Secure CDL (Common Data-Link) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) radio?

1 Answer
Can you answer this question?

- everything RF

Nov 5, 2022

SCISR Radio stands for Secure CDL (Common Data-Link) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) radio. It is a software-defined radio transmitter-receiver that uses robust radio encryption to transmit and receive mission-critical data safely and securely. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) mandates that all ISR data must be transported over CDL, hence SCISR radios are built upon government-owned BE-CDL specifications and meet the highest levels of data encryption. SCISR radios operate using the CDL secure protocol that provides a full duplex, jam-resistant digital data link operated by the DoD and U.S. intelligence agencies for wideband real-time downlink transmission of sensor data and real-time uplink control of sensor payloads.

SCISR radios securely transmit data collected by sensors which include Electro-Optical (EO), Infrared (IR), and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images and signals intelligence etc. by ISR platforms and payloads like airborne and space intelligence collection platforms, tactical ground commands, surface ships, low-flying aircraft crews, military command and control (C2) staff etc. The collected data is securely transmitted to a common Command and Control (C2) chain where it is then relayed to tactical teams, military heads or wherever such data is required and necessary. It is also used to receive command signals for the sensors and tactical machinery securely from the base of operations. All SCISR radios are interoperable with each other, as well as any BE-CDL compliant terminal. SCISR radios are designed to be interoperable with legacy and advanced waveforms and also support Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiatives.

SCISR radios are usually small (cell-phone sized) and light-weight, designed to have a low SWaP-C to be integrated into almost any tactical equipment or machinery and ensure operation in the toughest environments. SCISR radios undergo rigorous government testing before receiving certification, ensuring the highest level of compliance and reliability. They operate in L-Band, S-Band and C-Band frequencies and deliver data rates of up to 45 Mbps. manufacturers also offer additional enhancements, such as legacy To Be Sunset (TBS) waveforms in addition to the baseline BE-CDL waveforms. One of the upcoming SCISR enhancements is spreading capabilities that allow operation in RF noisy and jammed environments. This also significantly decreases the RF emissions signature of the radio. SCISR radios can be connected to SCISR-compliant up/down converters to further expand their range of operation and frequency range.

SCISR radio is one of the most capable software-defined radio transmitter-receivers which can be configured for either ground or airborne use easily. The radio’s low-cost design and lightweight wideband data link can adapt to various types of applications. With a standard network interface and a built-in router, the SCISR radio is enabled to be net-ready, providing a tactical advantage in the modern battlespace.