The design of the datalink for real-time electro-optical reconnaissance systems is a function of many system variables with many conflicting requirements. The datalink design must consider cost and frequency management issues. Sensor data rate has a particularly strong impact on a number of key design parameters. As the data rate increases, RF bandwidth increases forcing the datalink to operate at higher carrier frequencies. With a fixed RF bandwidth constraint, the higher rate decreases anti-jam processing margin, increases cost and generally increases system complexity. With data compression, the bandwidth can be decreased at the expense of an increasing sensitivity to datalink errors. In this paper, the sensitivity of the datalink design to a number of the most important design requirements is examined with particular attention paid to the datalink cost and frequency management issues.