Secure Micro Digital
To meet the needs of the military’s small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS), Draper is working with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Munitions Directorate and the Cryptologic Modernization Programs Office to develop the first secure micro digital data link. The SμDDL provides secure communications and interoperability between small (<30 lb) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors, sensor platforms, and remote surface terminals.
The SμDDL uses a Draper-designed, nonproprietary waveform implemented in a software-defined radio that supports multifrequency operations, which can be selected by the operator. This is the first such capability that can be produced at low cost for widespread use in SUAS, ground robots, weapon systems, and unattended ground sensors. It can provide seamless interoperability between these systems, their operators, and the end users of the data. Over-the-air key management allows selected classes of ground terminals and users to receive and decrypt data, and enables this device to be operated by uncleared personnel — a capability of interest to developers of remote terminals, unattended ground sensors, and small ground robots.
The SμDDL waveform is currently being evaluated to become the common data link standard for <30lb ISR sensor platforms. Because SμDDL is a nonproprietary, government-owned design it can be provided as government-furnished equipment to the small UAV manufacturers to accelerate protection of these links in small UAS applications.