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Milestone-Proposal:SAGE (Semi Automatic Ground Environment)

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{{ProposalEdit|a1=SAGE  (Semi Automatic Ground Environment)|a2a=Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington Massachusetts|a2b=Boston Section     |a3=1950 to 1958|a4=
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{{ProposalEdit|a1=SAGE  (Semi Automatic Ground Environment)|a2a=Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington Massachusetts|a2b=Boston Section|a3=1950 to 1958|a4=MILESTONE  NAME: SAGE – Semi-Automatic Ground Environment
MILESTONE  NAME: SAGE – Semi-Automatic Ground Environment
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PERIOD: 1950 to 1958
 
PERIOD: 1950 to 1958
 
SCOPE: The scope of this proposal encompasses the initial research, engineering and development of a large national defense project named SAGE. The period covered by this proposal is conception in 1950 to the construction of the first SAGE Control Center at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey in 1958.  
 
SCOPE: The scope of this proposal encompasses the initial research, engineering and development of a large national defense project named SAGE. The period covered by this proposal is conception in 1950 to the construction of the first SAGE Control Center at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey in 1958.  
 
 
ABSTRACT: Beginning in 1950, engineers, mathematicians, scientists and technicians, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Digital Computer Laboratory, the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory, and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, played the key role in the development of the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, the first major real-time, computer-based command- and- control system. Designed as a new air defense system to protect the United States from long-range bombers and other weapons, the SAGE system sent information from geographically dispersed radars over telephone lines and gathered it at a central location for processing by a newly designed, large-scale digital computer. As the system evolved, SAGE broke new ground in radar, communications, computer, information display, and computer programming technologies. SAGE not only revolutionized military command-and-controls, but led to landmark advances in online systems and interactive computing, real-time computing, and data communications using modems.
 
ABSTRACT: Beginning in 1950, engineers, mathematicians, scientists and technicians, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Digital Computer Laboratory, the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory, and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, played the key role in the development of the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, the first major real-time, computer-based command- and- control system. Designed as a new air defense system to protect the United States from long-range bombers and other weapons, the SAGE system sent information from geographically dispersed radars over telephone lines and gathered it at a central location for processing by a newly designed, large-scale digital computer. As the system evolved, SAGE broke new ground in radar, communications, computer, information display, and computer programming technologies. SAGE not only revolutionized military command-and-controls, but led to landmark advances in online systems and interactive computing, real-time computing, and data communications using modems.
 
 
SYSTEM OVERVIEW  The SAGE system used ground-based radars, sea-based radars on ocean platforms called Texas Towers, and airborne radars to detect enemy aircrafts.  Digital communication links conveyed this information to command centers, where the first large real-time digital processors - novelties at the time – tracked the radar targets and guided fighter-interceptors to engage the intruding aircraft. Although Lincoln Laboratory’s primary responsibilities was to invent the needed command-and-control processes by using the newly emerging technology of digital computers, many development in radar technology were also needed to provide the “clean” data demanded by the computer.
 
SYSTEM OVERVIEW  The SAGE system used ground-based radars, sea-based radars on ocean platforms called Texas Towers, and airborne radars to detect enemy aircrafts.  Digital communication links conveyed this information to command centers, where the first large real-time digital processors - novelties at the time – tracked the radar targets and guided fighter-interceptors to engage the intruding aircraft. Although Lincoln Laboratory’s primary responsibilities was to invent the needed command-and-control processes by using the newly emerging technology of digital computers, many development in radar technology were also needed to provide the “clean” data demanded by the computer.
 
 
AIR DEFENSE – THE FIRST YEARS (extracted from  [1] pages 148 -151).  
 
AIR DEFENSE – THE FIRST YEARS (extracted from  [1] pages 148 -151).  
 
“The first major Lincoln Laboratory effort in air defense, the Cape Cod System, was designed to integrate a surveillance net consisting of large search radars, height-finding radars, and gap-filler radars with a central digital computer (called Whirlwind) by using telephone lines for data transfer.  The computer accepted target data from the radars and created tracks showing the positions and movements of the enemy aircraft. The computer then formulated a response and sent messages to the fighter aircraft so that they could intercept the target aircraft.
 
“The first major Lincoln Laboratory effort in air defense, the Cape Cod System, was designed to integrate a surveillance net consisting of large search radars, height-finding radars, and gap-filler radars with a central digital computer (called Whirlwind) by using telephone lines for data transfer.  The computer accepted target data from the radars and created tracks showing the positions and movements of the enemy aircraft. The computer then formulated a response and sent messages to the fighter aircraft so that they could intercept the target aircraft.
 
 
“The first version of the Cape Cod System was fully operational in September 1953, and it demonstrated that air battles could be managed with such a system. The next step was the augmentation of the Cape Cod System to form the Experimental SAGE Subsector, which covered more of New England. The Experimental SAGE Subsector included more radars, better data processing at the radar sites, a more capable central computer (the AN/FSQ-7), and improved display and control consoles for the human operators who were an integral part of the SAGE system. Figure 3 shows operations at a SAGE Direction Center at Lincoln Laboratory. The AN/FSQ-7 computer had a processing rate of about 100,000 instructions per second, which is much less processing power than today’s least expensive laptops.
 
“The first version of the Cape Cod System was fully operational in September 1953, and it demonstrated that air battles could be managed with such a system. The next step was the augmentation of the Cape Cod System to form the Experimental SAGE Subsector, which covered more of New England. The Experimental SAGE Subsector included more radars, better data processing at the radar sites, a more capable central computer (the AN/FSQ-7), and improved display and control consoles for the human operators who were an integral part of the SAGE system. Figure 3 shows operations at a SAGE Direction Center at Lincoln Laboratory. The AN/FSQ-7 computer had a processing rate of about 100,000 instructions per second, which is much less processing power than today’s least expensive laptops.
 
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“The first radar development needed to make SAGE work was to improve the performance of moving-target-indicator circuitry, which separates the echoes of the fast-moving objects of interest, namely, airplanes in flight, from echoes of slow-moving objects such as waves on the ocean and birds, and non-moving objects such as buildings and mountains. The second radar development came from an urgent need to strengthen the ability of radar to extract information despite radio-frequency interference and jamming. Both of these developments profited from enlarged understanding of communications theory, of which radar theory is a special case, that had flowered after the end of World War II.  
“The first radar development needed to make SAGE work was to improve the performance of moving-target-indicator circuitry, which separates the echoes of the fast-moving objects of interest, namely, airplanes in flight, from echoes of slow-moving objects such as waves on the ocean and birds, and non-moving objects such as buildings and mountains. The second radar development came from an urgent need to strengthen the ability of radar to extract information despite radio-frequency interference and jamming. Both of these developments profited from enlarged understanding of communications theory, of which radar theory is a special case, that had flowered after the end of World War II.  
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Underlying these advances was the important development of processing devices to digitize data at the remote radar sites, and send it error-free to large central computers. SAGE was a large, distributed, digital, real-time, surveillance, communications, and command-and-control system. It was the world’s first such system, and the impact of its successful development spread far beyond its role in air defense of the United States.  Some historians of science and technology consider SAGE to have been the launching pad of that economic marvel, the Boston-area electronics industry.”  [1][2]
 
Underlying these advances was the important development of processing devices to digitize data at the remote radar sites, and send it error-free to large central computers. SAGE was a large, distributed, digital, real-time, surveillance, communications, and command-and-control system. It was the world’s first such system, and the impact of its successful development spread far beyond its role in air defense of the United States.  Some historians of science and technology consider SAGE to have been the launching pad of that economic marvel, the Boston-area electronics industry.”  [1][2]
 
 
INSERT PHOTO FIGURE 3: Console operations at the Experimental SAGE Subsector Direction Center at Lincoln Laboratory in 1957.
 
INSERT PHOTO FIGURE 3: Console operations at the Experimental SAGE Subsector Direction Center at Lincoln Laboratory in 1957.
 
 
WHAT FUNCTIONS WERE PERFORMED BY SAGE? [6]:  
 
WHAT FUNCTIONS WERE PERFORMED BY SAGE? [6]:  
 
1. An early warning radar searches for approaching aircraft.
 
1. An early warning radar searches for approaching aircraft.
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15. The Direction Center apprises headquarters of status and results.
 
15. The Direction Center apprises headquarters of status and results.
 
16. SAGE System maintains alert for additional hostile aircraft.
 
16. SAGE System maintains alert for additional hostile aircraft.
 
 
ACCOLADES FROM VARIOUS WEBSITES:
 
ACCOLADES FROM VARIOUS WEBSITES:
 
1. SAGE revolutionized air defense and also contributed significantly to advances in  air traffic control systems. As the SAGE system matured, the Air Force pursued the development of a number of advanced command, control, and communications systems. 2. In peacetime SAGE was, for all intents, an air traffic control system. It influenced the design of the FAA’s automated control systems.  
 
1. SAGE revolutionized air defense and also contributed significantly to advances in  air traffic control systems. As the SAGE system matured, the Air Force pursued the development of a number of advanced command, control, and communications systems. 2. In peacetime SAGE was, for all intents, an air traffic control system. It influenced the design of the FAA’s automated control systems.  
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5. Kent C. Redmond and Thomas M. Smith, From Whirlwind to MITRE: The R&D Story of The SAGE Air Defense Computer (MIT Press Cambridge, 2000).  
 
5. Kent C. Redmond and Thomas M. Smith, From Whirlwind to MITRE: The R&D Story of The SAGE Air Defense Computer (MIT Press Cambridge, 2000).  
 
6 MITRE Website.http://www.mitre.org/about/sage.html
 
6 MITRE Website.http://www.mitre.org/about/sage.html
 
 
TO PROBE FURTHER:
 
TO PROBE FURTHER:
 
Karl Wildes and Nilo Lindgren:  A Century of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, 1882-1982 and The Electron and the Bit: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1902-2002. Chapter 17, “From Whirlpool to SAGE”, pp. 280 -301.
 
Karl Wildes and Nilo Lindgren:  A Century of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, 1882-1982 and The Electron and the Bit: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1902-2002. Chapter 17, “From Whirlpool to SAGE”, pp. 280 -301.
 
 
Robert R. Everett, ed. Special Issue: “SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment,” Annals of the History of Computing, 5:4, 1983.
 
Robert R. Everett, ed. Special Issue: “SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment,” Annals of the History of Computing, 5:4, 1983.
 
George E Valley, Jr., “How the SAGE Development  Began,” Annals of the History of Computing, 7:3, 1985.
 
George E Valley, Jr., “How the SAGE Development  Began,” Annals of the History of Computing, 7:3, 1985.
 
Robert Wieser, "The Cape Cod System," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 5:4, 1983.
 
Robert Wieser, "The Cape Cod System," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 5:4, 1983.
 
 
John F. Jacobs, "The SAGE Air Defense System: A Personal History" (MITRE Corporation, 1986).
 
John F. Jacobs, "The SAGE Air Defense System: A Personal History" (MITRE Corporation, 1986).
 
WEBSITES: wapedia: semi Automatic Ground Environment. http://wapedia.mobi/en/Semi_Automatic_Ground_Environment
 
WEBSITES: wapedia: semi Automatic Ground Environment. http://wapedia.mobi/en/Semi_Automatic_Ground_Environment
 
Mitre Photo Archives for Semi- Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE)  http://www.mitre.org/about/photo_archives/sage_photo.html
 
Mitre Photo Archives for Semi- Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE)  http://www.mitre.org/about/photo_archives/sage_photo.html
  
http://www.mitre.org/about/sage.html
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http://www.mitre.org/about/sage.html|a5=
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SAGE, or Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, was developed for the United States Air Force from 1950 to 1957 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Digital Computer Laboratory, the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory, and MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. The work required scientific research in many different fields:  computer hardware and software, radar, communications, and so on. During the period from 1950 to 1958, MIT and Lincoln Laboratory did much of the scientific research but others played important roles as well, for example, the Cambridge Research Laboratory (AFCRL), who’s work cannot be addressed in any details at this time. MIT and Lincoln Laboratory were the ‘Engineer of Record,’ a term well understood by engineers in private practice or on public works project.  Engineering is never a solo activity and as expected other companies were involved  in successfully launching SAGE. Manufacturing of the AN/FSQ-7 computers was awarded to IBM. Buildings and internal power supply and communications were provided by Western Electric Company. Phone lines were provided by the Bell System and the software, 500,000 lines of assembly language, was furnished by System Development Corporation (SDC).
  
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SAGE was unique in that it was engineered in response to a specific contract. Its uniqueness is evident by the many innovations attributed to SAGE as follows: [3]
  
|a5=      |a6=later|a7=Main lobby of MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington MA.  Access by the public is available.  Details will be provided later.|a8=Yes|a9=The main lobby provides entrance to public spaces such as the cafeteria and auditorium where IEEE meetings and other events take place.|a10=MIT Lincoln Laboratory|a11=Yes|a12=IEEE Boston Section, Robert Alongi Business Manager,  
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1- HARDWARE DESGN:
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Magnetic-core memory.
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Digital phone-line transmission.
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Digital track-while-scan.
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2- SOFTWARE TECHNIQUES:
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Multiple simultaneous users.
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System data structures.
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Structured program modules.
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Global data definitions.
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Table-driven software.
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Software debugging tools.
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Data description language.
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3- USER INTERFACES:
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Interactive graphic displays.
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Light-pen input.
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On-line common database.
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4- HIGH-RELIABILITY OPERATIONS
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Marginal checking.
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Internal parity checking.
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Built-in test data reduction.
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|a6=later|a7=Main lobby of MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington MA.  Access by the public is available.  Details will be provided later.|a8=Yes|a9=The main lobby provides entrance to public spaces such as the cafeteria and auditorium where IEEE meetings and other events take place.|a10=MIT Lincoln Laboratory|a11=Yes|a12=IEEE Boston Section, Robert Alongi Business Manager,  
 
One Centre Street, Suite 203
 
One Centre Street, Suite 203
Wakefield, MA  01880.|a13name=Bruce Hecht|a13section=Boston Section|a13position=Chair person 2010|a13email=Bruce Hecht|a14name=Robert Alongi|a14ou=Boston Section|a14position=Business Manager|a14email=r.alongi@ieee.org|a15Aname=Gilmore G Cooke|a15Aemail=gilcooke@ieee.org|a15Aname2=William P.  Delaney|a15Aemail2= delaney@ll.mit.edu|a15Bname=c/o Robert Alongi|a15Bemail=r.alongi@ieee.org|a15Bname2=MIT Lincoln Laboratory|a15Bemail2=Later|a15Cname=Gilmore Cooke, PE|a15Ctitle=Committee Chair|a15Corg=Boston Section History Committee|a15Caddress=8 Canvasback Labe|a15Cphone=617-759-4271|a15Cemail=gilcooke@ieee.org}}
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Wakefield, MA  01880.|a13name=Bruce Hecht|a13section=Boston Section|a13position=Chair person 2010|a13email=Bruce Hecht|a14name=Robert Alongi|a14ou=Boston Section|a14position=Business Manager|a14email=r.alongi@ieee.org|a15Aname=Gilmore G Cooke|a15Aemail=gilcooke@ieee.org|a15Aname2=William P.  Delaney|a15Aemail2=delaney@ll.mit.edu|a15Bname=c/o Robert Alongi|a15Bemail=r.alongi@ieee.org|a15Bname2=MIT Lincoln Laboratory|a15Bemail2=Later|a15Cname=Gilmore Cooke, PE|a15Ctitle=Committee Chair|a15Corg=Boston Section History Committee|a15Caddress=8 Canvasback Labe|a15Cphone=617-759-4271|a15Cemail=gilcooke@ieee.org}}

Revision as of 03:47, 23 December 2010

This Proposal has not been submitted and may only be edited by the original author.