Advances in capabilities of reconnaissance equipment such as sensors, tape recorders, and data links have dictated the need for a centralized manager of the airborne system. The sensor data management subsystem (SDMS) described performs the airborne sensor system management tasks while maintaining a flexible, scaleable, and modular architecture. These tasks include image data processing, auxiliary data processing, data compression, and data routing and packetizing as required to interfaces between sensors, tape recorders, data links, and cockpit displays. This architecture provides easy configuration of equipment to meet requirements for a variety of applications and sensor types. In addition, the architecture supports easy reconfiguration for a given application as sensors, tape recorders, etc. change.