The SR-71 Blackbird

The CIA A-12 Blackbird Program


The A-12 started out as an USAF interceptor to replace the cancelled F-108A Rapier. In October 1962, CIA authorized the Skunk Works to study the feasibility of modifying the A-12 to carry and deploy a reconnaissance drone for unmanned overflight of denied areas. The project was codenamed TAGBOARD.

26 Dec 2020

Data Link System

Data Link System

Author: SR Admin  /  Categories: Sensors  /  Rate this article:
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The data link system accepts digital inputs from ASARS-1 and digital and analog ELINT imputs from the EMR. ASARS and/or ELINT data is recorded and, when flight path permits, downliked in near-real-time, recorded for later playback and downlink or recorded for later playback and ground download.

Components - The system includes a down-looking antenna and various electronic components for ground station uplink connection and data transmission. A digital cassette recorder system (DCRsi), consisting of an electronics unit and a tape transport unit, provides for recording and playback of ASARS and ELINT data. The antenna is located below the C-Bay, data link system electronic components are located in the C-bay and DCRsi components are located in the L-bay.

Operating Modes - Three modes: record and near-real-time downlink data to ground station, record data then downlink at later time and record data only.

Recording Time Capacity - DCRsi records only when data is received. Capacity for recording ASARS and/or ELINT data is approximately 1hr total; about 2,000 nautical miles along track coverage.


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