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Video transmission over wireless ad hoc networks is very sensitive to temporal dynamics of the wireless channel. In order to achieve good end to end performance, it is necessary for upper layers to quickly adapt to the variations of the wireless links. Based on this motivation, we propose a novel cross layer design (CLD) which employs an adaptive link estimator to ensure reliable transmissions. The link-quality estimation scheme can provide accurate link quality information for routing decisions and predicts the link characteristics for the next time interval by using a Kalman filter. Through simulations and experiments we demonstrate that the proposed cross layer approach can quickly adapt to the temporal dynamics of the links, accurately predict the link characteristics and improve the robustness of video transmission over mobile ad hoc networks.