Chapter 4- LINK-4A

CHAPTER  4 LINK-4A INTRODUCTION The Link-4A system is a fully automatic, high-speed data transmission system used for aircraft control. The system provides controlling information to the aircraft, using radio transmission between the controlling ship and the controlled aircraft. The Carrier Aircraft Inertial Navigation System (CAINS) is also a part of the Link-4A system. The CAINS system is used to load alignment and way-point data into the aircraft on the flight deck or the hangar deck. After completing this chapter, you should be able to: Describe the functions of the Link-4A system. Describe the operating modes of the Link-4A data terminal set. Describe the types of messages used by the Link-4A system. Describe the functional operation of the Link-4A data terminal set. Describe the test messages used in the Link-4A system. LINK-4A  SYSTEM  OVERVIEW The two major components of the Link-4A system are the Link-4A CDS system and the CAINS system. Both  systems  use  serial  time-division  multiplexing  to transmit control and reply messages over a frequency- shift   keyed   (FSK)   UHF   radio   communications channel. The CAINS system can also transmit data via hard-wired stations on the flight deck or hangar deck. LINK-4A CDS SYSTEM The Link-4A CDS system is used to provide one- way   or   two-way   communications   between   the controlling station and up to 100 controlled aircraft. The controlling station transmits to the aircraft control messages containing vectoring information, commands,   and   data   pertaining   to   the   target   or destination of the aircraft. The aircraft transmits reply messages   containing   information   concerning its heading, altitude, airspeed, and tactical readiness. The aircraft control messages are developed by the CDS computer using radar-derived target data, reply data from the aircraft, and other tactical data. A typical shipboard Link-4A  system configuration is  shown  in  figure  4-1.  It  consists  of  the  CDS computer,  a  data  terminal  set,  a  communications switchboard, and a UHF radio transceiver. The CDS computer outputs parallel digital data to the  Link-4A  data  terminal  set.  Currently,  the  data terminal  set  most  shipboard  installations  use  is  a  type of  the  AN/SSW-1  (U).  It  will  be  designated  as  the AN/SSW-1A/B/C/D/E(U).   The   data   terminal   set converts  the  computer  data  into  a  serial  time-division multiplexed  pulse  train  that  is  transferred  to  the  radio transceiver  through  the  communications  switchboard. The   communications   switchboard   connects   the selected UHF transceiver to the data terminal set. The radio  transceiver  converts  the  pulse  train  into  FSK variations in the carrier signal frequency. 4-1


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