Thursday, December 08, 2005

NORAD Tracking Santa

What an incredible site! NORAD tracks Santa Claus.

There's music, videos, maps, countdowns, downloads...and it's all cool!
This is the 50th Anniversary that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born.
NORAD has adapted and upgraded its Santa Tracking Technology:
NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa - radar, satellites, Santa Cams and jet fighter aircraft.

It all starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system has 47 installations strung across Canada's North and Alaska. NORAD makes a point of checking the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole on Christmas Eve.
Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a missile launch. The satellites can detect Rudolph's bright red nose with practically no problem. With so many years of experience, NORAD has become good at tracking aircraft entering North America, detecting worldwide missile launches and tracking the progress of Santa, thanks to Rudolph.

The third system we use is the Santa Cam. We began using it in 1998 - the year we put our Santa Tracking program on the Internet. NORAD Santa Cams are ultra-cool high-tech high-speed digital cameras that are pre-positioned at many places around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year - Christmas Eve.
The last system we use is the NORAD jet fighter. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take off out of Newfoundland to intercept and welcome Santa to North America.
About a dozen NORAD fighters in Canada and the United States are equipped with Santa Cams.
NORAD explains how Santa accomplishes his task:
the only logical conclusion is that Santa somehow functions on a different time and space continuum.
Be sure to watch the ultra-cool 60-second promo video of NORAD tracking Santa here!

This is Totally Awesome!

The site is available in 6 languages.


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