This film shows the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment or SAGE, a system of large computers and associated networking equipment that coordinated data from many radar sites and processed it to produce a single unified image of the airspace over a wide area. SAGE directed and controlled the NORAD response to a Soviet air attack, operating in this role from the late 1950s into the 1980s.
The processing power behind SAGE was supplied by the largest computer ever built, the AN/FSQ-7. Each SAGE Direction Center (DC) housed an FSQ-7 which occupied an entire floor, approximately 22,000 square feet, of the massive concrete blockhouse, not including supporting equipment. The upper two floors contained offices, operator stations, and a single two-story radar display visible to most of the DC's personnel. Information was fed to the DC's from a network of radar stations as well as readiness information from various defence sites. The computers, based on the raw radar data, developed "tracks" for the reported targets, and automatically calculated which defences were within range. Subsets of the data were then sent to the many operator consoles, where the operators used light guns to select targets onscreen for further information, select one of the available defences, and issue commands to attack. These commands would then be automatically sent to the defence site via teleprinter. Connecting the various sites was an enormous network of telephones, modems and teleprinters.
SAGE became operational in the late 1950s and early 1960s at a combined cost of billions of dollars. It was noted that the deployment cost more than the Manhattan Project, which it was, in a way, defending against. SAGE was the backbone of NORAD's air defence system into the 1980s.
The film begins with the headquarters New York air defense sector. At mark 2:50, they control a flight interception for its identification. This air defense system is also designed as a weapon during war to counter mass attacks. It is use to provide training of air force crews which in turns develop their potentials. It enables them to interact swiftly and successfully enables them to interact swiftly and successfully under stress. At mark 4:08, they developed a simulation training system. A magnetic tape is seen at 7:52. Information on the tape is also converted into punch cards. We have SSDP problem tapes prepared to the sage system and is been processed at mark 9:40. At mark 12:00, we have the weapon direction room and their communication network.
At mark 13:20, we have messages been sent through simulations and received automatically by a teletype machine in the manual data room which is then transferred to a punch card and from punch card, the information is been fed into the computer by a manual data supervisor as seen at mark 14:25. The simulator is handled by a weapon director simulator at mark 17:30. The capabilities of any aircraft weapon system are included in sage sdp exercises at mark 18:00. At mark19:20, we have the identification room and how they relay messages through the system. At mark 20:00, we have the identification room tracking an unknown track. Preliminary scrambling instructions for the interception are punched into the private council at mark 20:55.
We have messages on the lima papa 01 (LP01) been relayed through the system, its location and time to engage. At mark 23:50, we see the end of a complete interception as LP01 returns to base guided home by the interception director. Every details of this interception is been recorded in a tape. At mark 24:15, we have a debriefing to meet the needs of the group. They evaluate each individual’s performance, initiations and monitoring. Each individual made a report on his initiation at mark 27:05. The weapon operation group also holds their meeting outside the debriefing room at mark 27:35. It helps the group find solutions to the problems which roll up in the exercise. The director asks them to get their reports in so special actions will be taken to help in their efficiency. At mark 29:23, the subsystem representatives gather to discuss the exercise as it affected the entire defense group. At mark 31:35, we have them discussing on new features that could be added to the training system and so the training program of the SAGE system continues.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com