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|Semi-Automatic Ground Environment|
|SAGE Radar Network, SAGE Defense System,
Semi-Automatic Direction Center System,
Lincoln Transition System
|military command, control, and coordination network|
|Countries||United States, Canada|
|NY (Hancock Field), WI (Truax Field), WA (McChord AFB), NY (Stewart AFB), CA (Hamilton AFB), MO (Richards-Gebaur AFB),
|USAF Air Material Command
System Development Corporation
Burroughs Corporation 
|Operational||1958 June 26 -- DC-01
1958 December 1 -- DC-03
1959 (early) -- CC-01
|$10 billion (1954 dollars)
(IBM Military Products Division)
|Situation Display with SAM sites "FOX" & ""BED"|
|operator with light gun|
|room diagrams for each DC floor|
|2002 DC-12 photo|
|On Guard: The Story of SAGE|
The Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) was a Cold War operator environment for the automated air defense (AD) of North America and by extension, the name of the network of computer systems providing the ground environment for the larger air defense system with buildings, radars, and defense aircraft. SAGE Direction Centers (DC) in large "cube" buildings provided radar netting (signal integration from multiple radars) for Air Defense Sectors using data from numerous remote Air Force Stations each manned by SAGE radar squadrons operating several radars for searching/detecting, height finding, and for automatic tracking of Bomarc missiles. Each SAGE DC provided data to a Combat Center for "supervision of the several sectors within the division" ("each combat center [had] the capability to coordinate defense for the whole nation").:51
Computerized command and control for United States air defense was conceived in July 1945 during the Signal Corps' Project 414A contracted to Bell Laboratories:207 after the CONUS WWII Army Radar Stations closed in 1944 (stations were networked by manual Aircraft Warning Corps' "information centers"). Replacing the manual 1948 "five-station radar net" and the Lashup Radar Network (completed April 1950) was a Priority Permanent System with the initial (priority) radar stations completed in 1952:223 as a "manual air defense system" (e.g., NORAD/ADC used a Plexiglas plotting board at the Ent AFB command center.) The Permanent System added 3 phases of semimobile radars and "at the end of 1957, ADC operated 182 radar stations [and] 17 control centers … 32 [stations] had been added during the last half of the year as low-altitude, unmanned gap-filler radars. The total consisted of 47 gap-filler stations, 75 Permanent System radars, 39 semimobile radars, 19 Pinetree stations,…1 Lashup station [and a] single Texas Tower".:223
The December 1949 "Air Defense Systems Engineering Committee" led by Dr. George Valley had recommended computerized networking for "radar stations guarding the northern air approaches to the United States", including some stations in Canada. In 1949 the USAF had funded Project Charles to develop a demonstration system for automating Air Defense and after a January 1950 meeting, Valley and Jay Forrester proposed using the Whirlwind I (built 1948-51) for air defense. The Cape Cod System at Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the "first major Lincoln Laboratory effort" and networked long-range and several short-range radars. On August 18, 1950, when the "1954 Interceptor" requirements were issued, the USAF "noted that manual techniques of aircraft warning and control would impose “intolerable” delays.":484 Between February and August 1951, the USAF conducted Project Claude at the 1951 MIT Lincoln Laboratory and which concluded an improved air defense system was needed.
International Business Machines's "Project High" assisted development under their October 1952 Whirlwind subcontract with Lincoln Laboratory,:210 and a 1952 USAF Project Lincoln "fullscale study" of "a large scale integrated ground control system" resulted in the SAGE approval "first on a trial basis in 1953".:128 By April 10, 1953, the USAF decided "to cancel its support of the Michigan system" which was the competing Air Defense Integration System (ADIS) of the University of Michigan’s Aeronautical Research Center (based on the British CDS system), and ARDC planned to "finalize a production contract for the Lincoln Transition System".:201 Similarly, the July 22, 1953, report by the Bull Committee (NSC 159) identified completing the Mid-Canada Line as the top priority and "on a second-priority-basis: the Lincoln automated system".:191 On May 3, 1956, General Earle E. Partridge presented CINCNORAD’s Operational Concept for Control of Air Defense Weapons to the Armed Forces Policy Council.
Based on the larger and faster Whirlwind II design that was never built, "Whirlwind's successor" was contracted for 2 prototypes from IBM in September 1953, the same month the Cape Cod System became "fully operational". On October 28, 1953, the Air Force Council recommended 1955 funding for "ADC to convert to the Lincoln automated system":193 ("redesignated the SAGE System in 1954").:201 The "experimental SAGE subsector, located in Lexington, Mass., was completed in 1955…equipped with a prototype AN/FSQ-7…known as XD-1" (single computer system in Building F). In 1955, Air Force personnel began IBM training at Kingston, New York,and the "4620th Air Defense Wing (experimental SAGE) was established at Lincoln Laboratory" and its "primary mission was computer programming". A 1956 symposium presentation by Herbert D. Benington presented advanced programming methods used for the SAGE code. MITRE was formed in 1958 to provide oversight and management during deployment, phone lines were by the Bell System, and 500,000 lines of assembly language were by System Development Corporation. Bell Telephone Laboratories formed the Air Defense Engineering Service (ADES), and Kingston's XD-2 with 2 computers guided a Cape Canaveral BOMARC to a successful aircraft intercept on August 7, 1958.:197 Initially contracted to RCA, the AN/FSQ-7 production units were started by IBM in 1958 (32 DCs were planned.):207
SAGE System groundbreaking was at McChord AFB for DC-12 in 1957 where the "electronic brain" began arriving in November 1958, and the "first SAGE regional battle post [combat center] began operating in Syracuse, New York in early 1959".:263 American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) "hardened many of its switching centers, putting them in deep underground bunkers", and sectors and radar quadrons were renamed beginning in 1959—e.g., Los Angeles Air Defense Sector in February & the 661st Radar Squadron (SAGE) on September 1. The 1961 "SAGE/Missile Master test program" conducted large-scale field testing of the ATABE "mathematical model" using radar tracks of actual SAC and ADC aircraft flying mock penetrations into defense sectors, and the joint SAC-NORAD exercise Sky Shield II--along with Sky Shield III on 2 September 1962—were similarly conducted. On July 15, 1963, ESD's Cheyenne Mountain Complex Management Office assumed "responsibilities in connection with BMEWS, Space Track, SAGE, and BUIC." The Chidlaw Building's 'NORAD/ADC Combined Operations Center in 1963 became the highest echelon of the SAGE computer network when command center operations moved from Ent AFB's 1954 manual center to the partially underground "war room". Also in 1963, radar stations were redesignated (e.g., Cambria AFS was re-designated from P-2 to NORAD ID Z-2 on July 31) and the vacuum-tube SAGE System was completed (and obsolete).:9 A SAGE System ergonomic test at Luke AFB in 1964 "showed conclusively that the wrong timing of human and technical operations was leading to frequent truncation of the flight path tracking system" (Harold Sackman).:9
SAGE personnel included operators at USAF general surveillance radar stations to monitor the radar data and local systems' status and to use the range height equipment to process height requests from personnel at a Direction Center (DC) with 153,000 sq ft (3.5 acres) of floor space. DCs received the Long Range Radar Input from several radar stations in the Air Defense Sector, and DC personnel monitored the radar tracks and IFF data transmitted from the stations, requested height-finder radar data on targets, and monitored the computer's evaluation of which fighter aircraft or Bomarc missile site could reach the threat first. The DC's "NORAD sector commander's operational staff" included a "weapons director" to designate fighter intercept of a target or, using the Senior Director's keyed console in the Weapons Direction room, launch a Bomarc for the computer's automatic guidance to its final homing dive (equipped fighters eventually were automatically guided by SAGE GCI).
Crosstelling automatically communicated "SAGE reference track data" to/from adjacent sectors' DCs and to 10 Nike command posts for which the "NORAD sector direction center (NSDC) [had] air defense artillery director (ADAD) consoles [and an] "ADA battle staff officer" of the US Army. Forwardtelling automatically communicated data from multiple DCs to a 3-story Combat Center (CC) usually at the same installation as a DC (cf. Hamilton AFB CC-05 ), near the Beale AFB DC-18) for coordinating the air battle in the NORAD region (several sectors) and which forwarded data to the NORAD Command Center (Ent AFB, 1963 Chidlaw Building, & 1966 Cheyenne Mtn). NORAD's integration of air, space, intelligence, and other warning data allowed attack assessment for alerting the Strategic Air Command command centers (465L SACCS Systems at Offutt AFB & The Notch), the Pentagon/Raven Rock NMCC/ANMCC, and public radio stations via CONELRAD.
Project 416L was for a Cold War network of computer sets and centrals ("SAGE System") to create the new ground environment (SAGE) for operation of the radar network and for ground-controlled interception using air defense aircraft ("SAGE Defense System"). The Burroughs 416L SAGE System was the USAF predecessor of NORAD, SAC, and other military organizations' "Big L" computer systems (e.g., 496L Space Defense Center system at 3 sites). Burroughs Corporation was the prime contractor for SAGE electronic equipment which included the Burroughs AN/FST-2 Coordinate Data Transmitting Set (CDTS) at 134 sites, the IBM AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central at 24 Direction Centers, and the IBM AN/FSQ-8 Combat Control Central at 8 Combat Centers. The 2 computers of each AN/FSQ-7 used ~1/3 of the DC's 2nd floor space (together weighing 275 tons), and at $50 per instruction used about 125,000 "computer instructions [that] supported actual operational air-defense mission" processing. The AN/FSQ-7 at Luke AFB DC-21 had additional memory (32K total) and was used as a "computer center for all other" DCs.
The SAGE network of computers was connected by AT&T voice lines, microwave towers, switching centers (e.g., SAGE NNX 764 was at Delta, Utah & 759 at Mounds, Oklahoma), etc.; and AT&T's "main underground station" was in Kansas (Fairview) with other bunkers in Connecticut (Cheshire), California (Santa Rosa), Iowa (Boone) and Maryland (Hearthstone Mountain). CDTS at each radar station transmitted range and azimuth by digital modem, and the Air Movements Identification Service (AMIS) provided air traffic data to the SAGE System. Later SAGE improvements allowed automatic transmission of AN/FSQ-7 command guidance to autopilots of equipped interceptors for vectoring to targets via the SAGE Ground to Air Data Link Subsystem and the Ground Air Transmit Receive (GATR) network of radio sites for "HF/VHF/UHF voice & TDDL" each generally co-located at a CDTS site (e.g. Selfridge AFB & Topsham AFS R-25).
Remaining stations of the DEW Line provided SAGE radar tracks, and ADC radar stations included frequency diversity (FD) radars recommended by MIT's Project Lamplight report that provided ECCM jam-resistance by shifting surveillance frequencies ("frequency agility"). United States Navy picket ships also provided radar tracks, and the "Airborne Long Range Input (ALRI) Program [was] a seaward extension of the SAGE system supplanting and extending the coverage provided by the Texas tower radars." By the late 1960s EC-121 Warning Star aircraft based at Otis AFB MA and McClellan AFB CA provided radar tracks via automatic data link to the SAGE System.:220-1
Aerospace Defense Command aircraft (e.g., F-94 Starfire, F-89 Scorpion, F-101B Voodoo, F-4 Phantom) were controlled by SAGE GCI. The F-104 Starfighter was "too small to be equipped with [SAGE] data link equipment" and used voice-commanded GCI, but the F-102A & F-106 Delta Dart were equipped for the automated data link (ADL). Interceptors reaching the target were able to transmit "raid assessment information back to the direction center" to allow additional dispatches. Familiarization flights (fam flights) for SAGE weapons directors to fly on board two-seat interceptors allowed them to observe GCI operations. Surface-to-air missile installations for CIM-10 Bomarc interceptors displayed on SAGE consoles, e.g., "FOX" and "BED" for the New York sector (the latter at Suffolk County Air Force Base with 56 launchers).
On "June 26, 1958,…the New York sector became operational":207 (DC-01) and on December 1, 1958, the Syracuse sector's DC-03 was operational. Construction of CFB North Bay in Canada was started in 1959 for a bunker ~700 feet (210 m) underground (operational October 1, 1963), and by 1963 the system had 3 Combat Centers.
Questions about the ability of the SAGE system to actually handle a "hot war" situation were continuous. NORAD conducted a Sage/Missile Master Integration/ECM-ECCM Test in 1963, and on other occasions radar tracks of huge flocks of seabirds were input to the SAGE System. A more serious problem was that by the time the system was fully operational, the USSR had already started deploying ICBMs, making SAGE largely useless. Beginning in the early 1960s SAGE technology was successfully adapted to civilian Air Traffic Control (e.g., American Airlines & IBM developed the SABRE airline reservation system.) In total, the SAGE special purpose networking had 23 connected centers across the continent.
Major developments used by SAGE included core memory as in Whirlwind I,:210 CRT based real-time user interface as with the British Comprehensive Display System, telephone communications via modems, and as with the Permanent System, the use of over 100 long range radar stations located throughout the US as part of the Air Defense Command.
|Sector||DC # and site||AFB, etc.||ST||Current DC use|
|Washington||DC-04)||Fort Lee AFS||VA|
|Bangor||DC-05)||Topsham AFS||ME||demolished 1985|
|Grand Forks||DC-11)||Grand Forks||ND||demolished|
|Sault Ste Marie||DC-14)||K. I. Sawyer||MI|
|Sioux City||DC-22)||Sioux City AFS||IA|
||DC-31)||CFB North Bay||ON|
|*Some of the originally planned 32 DCs were never completed, e.g., in 7 other states: Calypso/Raleigh NC, England/
Shreveport LA, Fort Knox KY, Kirtland/Albuquerque NM, Robins/Miami, Scott/St. Louis, Webb/San Antonio TX.
**The Minot AFB DC was constructed for the planned Minot Air Defense Region (never completed).
"IBM announced the development of the solid state AN/FSQ-7A in spring 1959":264 (later designated AN/FSQ-32), but the planned number of underground SAGE "Super Combat Centers" to field them (e.g., in Kennesaw Mountain GA & White Horse Mountain NY) was reduced in 1959, and all were cancelled by a presidential committee in February 1960. AN/FST-2B and AN/FYQ-47 computers replaced the AN/FST-2, and some Direction Centrals were replaced with the solid state Back-Up Interceptor Control System (BUIC):10 emplaced at radar stations. In 1962, Burroughs was awarded the contract for a version of its D825modular data processing system for the Burroughs AN/GSA-51 Radar Course Directing Group (BUIC II). BUIC II was 1st used at North Truro Z-10 in 1966, and the Hamilton AFB BUIC II was installed in the former MCC building. On June 3, 1963, the Direction Centers at Marysville CA, Marquett MI, Stewart AFB NY (DC-02), and Moses Lake WA (DC-15) were planned for closing and at the end of 1969, only 6 CONUS SAGE DCs remained (DC-03, -04, -10, -12, -20, & -21) all with the vacuum tube AN/FSQ-7 centrals.:47 In 1966, the NORAD Combined Operations Center transferred to the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (Philco 212 425L System) and in December 1963, the DoD approved solid state replacement of Martin AN/FSG-1 systems:317 ([[Hughes AN/ in TBD]], [[Martin AN/ in TBD]]). ADC was redesignated Aerospace Defense Command on January 15, 1968, the BUIC systems were phased out 1974-5 followed by BUIC II systems c. 1980 and ADC was broken up in 1980.
Replacement and disposition
For airborne command posts, "as early as 1962 the Air Force began exploring possibilities for an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS)",:266 and the Strategic Defense Architecture (SDA-2000) planned an integrated air defense and air traffic control network. The USAF declared full operational capability of the 1st 7 Joint Surveillance System ROCCs on December 23, 1980, with Hughes AN/FYQ-93 systems, and some ADC radar stations became Federal Aviation Administration sites (e.g., San Pedro Hill Z-39 became FAA Ground Equipment Facility J-31.) The North Bay AN/FSQ-7 operated until 1983 when it was dismantled and sent to The Computer Museum in Boston. In 1996 the remainder was moved to Moffett Federal Airfield for storage and is now in the collection of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The last AN/FSQ-7 centrals were demolished at McChord AFB (August 1983) and Luke AFB (February 1984). AN/FSQ-7 equipment was used as TV/movie props in the Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. In 2013, a programmed copy of a cover girl from a 1950s magazine that had been displayed on a SAGE screen was identified as the "earliest known figurative computer art" (cf. RTTY art).
- (YouTube) IBM Sage Computer Ad. 1960. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCCL4INQcFo&feature=related. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
- Del Papa, Dr. E. Michael; Warner, Mary P. (October 1987). A Historical Chronology of the Electronic Systems Division 1947-1986 (Report). http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a201708.pdf. Retrieved 2012-07-19. "Semi-Automatic Direction Center System, later known as…Semi-Automatic Ground Environment System, in essence, the Lincoln Transition System. … now "
- Schaffel, Kenneth (1991). "Emerging Shield: The Air Force and the Evolution of Continental Air Defense 1945-1960" (45MB pdf). General Histories (Office of Air Force History). ISBN 0-912799-60-9 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/Annotations/schaffelemerging.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-26. "A SAGE component, a 64 x 64 [4K] magnetic core memory … SAGE direction center. This installation is located at Stewart Air Force Base in New York state. …[Hancock Field] combined direction-combat center was located at Syracuse, New York." [captions of p. 198, 208, & 265 photos] NOTE: Schaffel's history uses the same name as "The Emerging Shield: The Air Defense Ground Environment," Air University Quarterly Review 8, no. 2 (spring 1956).
- Edwards, Benj (January 24, 2013). "The Never-Before-Told Story of the World's First Computer Art (It's a Sexy Dame)". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2013=02-16.
- (digitized movie) In Your Defense. Western Electric. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06drBN8nlWg&feature=channel. Retrieved 2012-04-03. "The System Development Corporation…in the design of massive computer programs … Burroughs…electronic equipment … Western Electric…assist the Air Force in coordinating and managing the entire effort…and design of buildings. …SAGE project office…Air Material Command" NOTE: The film identifies "Direction Center" vice "Data Center".minute 5:15
- "title tbd". Ed-Thelen.org. "The function of the Control Center in solving the air defense problem is to combine, summarize, and display the air battle picture for the supervision of the several sectors within the division. … The typical Control Center (CC) building housing the AN/FSQ-8 Combat Control Central is a 3-story structure of the same type construction as the DC building." (p. 7)
- Winkler, David F; Webster, Julie L (June 1997). Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program (Report). U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA331231. Retrieved 2012-03-26. ""BUIC II radar sites would be capable of incorporating data feeds from other radar sectors directly onto their radar screens. "
- History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume I: 1945-1955 (Army.mil PDF). Retrieved 2011-09-13. "The 1954 Interceptor, ultimately the F106, was designed to operate within this [SAGE] system.188"" (p. 128, citing "188 Futrell, [Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine], pp. 486–487; Grant, [The Development of Continental Air Defens] pp. 73–74.")
- AAF: The Official Guide to the Army Air Forces. p. 97. Unknown parameter
- Quarterly Progress Report (Report). Lincoln Laboratories. June 1952. (cited by Schaffel p. 197)
- "Physicist George Valley Jr. is dead at 86" (MITnews webpage). MIT Tech Talk. October 20, 1999. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "SAGE-Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, 1951-1958". Milestones. IEEE Global History Network. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
- Futrell, Robert Frank (June 1971). Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine: A History of Basic Thinking in the United States Air Force 1907–1964 (Report). Volume 1. Aerospace Studies Institute, Air University. (cited by History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume I: 1945-1955, p. 187)
- Pugh. title tbd (Google Books). Retrieved 2013-02-16.
- cited by: History of Strategic and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume I: 1945-1955. "To be closer to ConAC, ARAACOM moved to Mitchel AFB, New York on 1 November 1950."
- Redmond, Kent C; Smith, Thomas M (2000). From Whirlwind to MITRE: The R&D Story of The SAGE Air Defense Computer (Google Books). MIT Press.
- "Vigilance and Vacuum Tubes: The SAGE System 1956-63" (SAGE Talk Transcript). Ed-Thelen.org. 1998. Retrieved 2013-02-19. "the Whirlwind computer, which was a digital version of the ASCA [Airplane Stability and Control Analyzer], was about five million dollars, in 1950s dollars … For the 1949 fiscal year, MIT requested 1.5 million dollars for the Whirlwind project. … one [SAGE computer] was at Lincoln Lab, with the XD-1, and the other one was at Kingston, the XD-2. So we used both those sites for development. … The XD-1 was a simplex system…not duplex …"
- "title tbd". GlobalSecurity.org.
- "Electronic Brain Slated To Arrive" (Google News Archive). Tri-City Herald. November 3, 1958. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- title tbd (Google Books). Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- A Survey and Summary of Mathematical and Simulation Models as Applied to Weapon System Evaluation (Report). Aeronautical Systems Division, USAF. December 1961. http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/4298/4/bab9742.0001.001.txt. Retrieved 2011-09-13. "Future experiments and/or tests: Data from the Phase II and Phase III NORAD SAGE/ Missile Master … to validate the mathematical model [with] large-scale system tests employing SAC and ADC aircraft [under] the NORAD Joint Test Force stationed at Stewart Air Force Base." (cites Miller 1961)
- "title tbd". pdf p. 17
- Hellige, Hans Dieter (Februar [sic] 1993). Actors, Visions and Developments in the History of Computer Communications (Report). "Work and Technology" Research Centre. http://www.artec.uni-bremen.de/team/hellige/HDH-artec-Paper20E.pdf. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- Theory of Programming for AN/FSQ-7 combat direction central and AN/FSQ-8 combat control central (Report). IBM Military Products Divistion. April 1, 1959. p. 149. http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ibm/sage/3-112-0_Theory_Of_Programming_Apr59.pdf. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- "Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE)". About Us. MITRE.org. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
- Missile Master… (field manual), FM44-1, United States Army, "AN/FSG-1 … f. Utilizes reference track data from local radars and voice communications with the NORAD sector direction center (NSDC) or GC 1 station when SAGE data is unavailable. … 22. Normal Tracking The S & E officers and the trackers monitor the SAGE reference track data …at NORAD SAGE direction centers…personnel operate the air defense artillery director (ADAD) consoles … An Army field grade officer serves as the ADA battle staff officer on the NORAD sector commander's operational staff. … 34. General … The two surveillance and entry consoles…are separated by a channel status unit …SAGE SELECTOR two-position switch: Selects SAGE 1 or SAGE 2 (primary or secondary SAGE DC) as the source of SAGE data. … 45. Range-Height Subsystem a. Equipment. The range-height equipment consists of two RHI consoles (fig. 15) and two antenna control units … 86. Responsibilities of Army Air Defense Commander…a. The Army air defense commander is responsible to NORAD for the operation of the AADCP."
- DeWerth, John P. (personal notes). …Sage Memories (Report). SMECC.org. http://www.smecc.org/sage_a_n_fsq-7.htm. Retrieved 2012-04-03. "Senior Director's keyed console…fire button" "[AN/GSA-51]". SMECC.org. "BUIC … Burroughs…D825 … McChord AFB…August 1983" "Phoenix Air Defense Sector". SMECC.org. "Luke AFB…February 1984"
- title tbd (Google Books). "SAGE—Air Force project 416L—became the pattern for at least twenty-five other major military command-control systems… These were the so-called "Big L" systems [and] included 425L, the NORAD system; 438L, the Air Force Intelligence Data Handling System; and 474L, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS). … Project 465L, the SAC Control System (SACCS) [with] over a million lines, reached four times the size of the SAGE code and consumed 1,400 man-years of programming; SDC invented a major computer language, JOVIAL, specifically for this project. … In 1962 the SACCS was expanded to become [WWMCCS]"
- Early Development of the United States Defensive Missile System. By Raul Colon. Aeroflight.
- Benington, Herbet D (after 1980) (adaptaion of June 1956 presentation). Production of Large Computer Programs (Report). "The following paper is a description of the organization and techniques we used at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory in the mid-1950s to produce programs for the SAGE air-defense system. The paper appeared a year before the announcement of SAGE; no mention was made of the specific application other than to indicate that the program was used in a large control system. The programming effort was very large—eventually, close to half a million computer instructions. About one-quarter of these instructions supported actual operational air-defense missions. … In a letter to me on April 23, 1981 … A Lincoln Utility System of service routines containing 40,000 instructions has been prepared … the experience of the Lincoln Laboratory that a system of service programs equal in size to the main system program must be maintained to support preparation, testing, and maintenance of the latter."
- Murphy, Michael F. "AN/FSQ7 SAGE Computer: Luke AFB" (personal notes). Radomes.org. Retrieved 2012-04-02. "Luke center was unique in the fact that it was the programming center for all other sage sites [and] had more core memory, 32K total"
- , Tim (Sept 21, 2007). "Re: Speaking of AUTOVON" (coldwarcomms message). Yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-02-18. "A previously referenced AT&T training manual on SAGE/BUIC/AUTOVON phone systems does list all the AUTOVON/SAGE Switching Centers & includes their General Purpose (AUTOVON) NNX, their SAGE NNX, and … For example, Delta, Utah had 890 for AUTOVON, 764 for SAGE"
- "CONUS AUTOVON Switching Centers". "CO Cheyenne Mountain 1 July 1966…underground (inside mountain) … CO Lamar 1 Jan. 1967"
- "AN/FYQ-47 Radar Data Processing System". Radomes.org. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
- "AN/FST-2, RADAR Data Processor/Network System". Gallery. "Air Movements Identification Service (AMIS) AMIS is responsible for sending [Air Route Traffic Control Center] data on flight plans, weapons status, weather, and aircraft tracks to the Direction and Combat Centers over teletype and voice grade telephone circuits."
- compiled by Johnson, Mildred W (31 December 1980) [February 1973 original by Cornett, Lloyd H. Jr]. A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980. Peterson Air Force Base: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. . Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- "Topsham AFS". Cold War Relics. copyright 2009. Retrieved 2013-02-19. "the SAGE block house was bulldozed in 1985." (image of entrance sign with arrow: "Bangor North American Air Defense Sector")
- "The SAGE Air Defense System". About | History. LL.MIT.edu. "fighter aircraft [send] raid assessment information back to the direction center to determine whether additional aircraft or missile intercepts were necessary."
- Hazlitt, Tom--Southam News Services (June 5, 1963). "The Evolution In Air Defense: NORAD Looks For A Place To Hide". The Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2012-07-15. "The North Bay SAGE centre is the only one on the continent to be fully "hardened", or constructed underground."
- North America Air Defense Command, Phase III: Sage/Missile Master Integrat ion/ECM-ECCM Test (Deep River), Ent AFB, Colorado, 1963
- "Many People, One System". Computer History Museum. Retrieved 2/11/13.
- Page, Thomas E. (June 16, 2009). "http://ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/vs-ibm-sage.html" (anecdotal message post). Ed-Thelen.org. "A number of Super-SAGE Combat Centers (AN/FSQ-32) were planned, but none was built. Most were to have built underground...White Horse Mountain near West Point, NY...at least one SSCC was to have been above-ground (Scott AFB, IL). One prototype Q-32 was installed at the IBM programming center in Santa Monica, CA." T. E. Page cites: "Shield of Faith" by Bruce Briggs (Simon and Shuster, 1988.)
- Department of Defense 1959 "Master Air Defense Plan" (cited by Schaffel) — cf. June 1959 Missile Master Plan 
- Leonard, Barry (c. 1986). History of Strategic and Ballistic Missile Defense: Volume II: 1956-1972 (Army.mil PDF -- also available at Google Books). Retrieved 2012-09-01. "The missile and space surveillance and warning system currently consists of five systems and a space computational center located in the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain complex. The five systems are: the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System; the Defense Support Program (DSP) formerly called Project 647; the Forward Scatter over the Horizon Radar (440L system); the Sea-Launched Ballistic Missile Warning System; and the Space Detection and Warning System. … 20 April The 425L system portion of the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex (NCMC) became fully operational."
- "USAF Air Defense Radar Equipment". Online Radar Museum. Retrieved 2013-02-22. "AN/FPS-24 S VHF GE Y Frequency-diverse search radar designed for SAGE [also:] AN/FPS-26...AN/FPS-27...AN/FPS-28...Field tested at Houma AFS, LA"
- John F. Jacobs, The SAGE Air Defense System: A Personal History (MITRE Corporation, 1986)
- R. G. Enticknap and E. F. Schuster, SAGE Data System Considerations, AIEE Transactions vol 77, pt I, 1958 (January 1959 section), pp 824–832.
- Robert R. Everett (editor), Special Issue: SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment), Annals of the History of Computing 5:4 (1983).
- Edwards, Paul N (1996). "Chapter 3 title tbd". The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Kent C. Redmond and Thomas M. Smith, Project Whirlwind: The History of a Pioneer Computer (Bedford, MA: Digital Press, 1980)
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