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Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

Posted December 18, 2018 12:00 AM by RSBenner
Pathfinder Tags: NORAD Santa

You can find a lot of information on the Internet disproving the existence of a jolly, old man named Santa Claus who can travel the entire globe in one night delivering presents. However, at least according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), not only is Santa alive and well and able to conquer this feat, but they are ready to use available technology, as they have since 1955, to track his Christmas Eve flight.

A joint organization between the United States and Canada, NORAD was established to provide aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning in the defense of North America. As such, this respected organization has several techniques at their disposal to aid in their Santa tracking:

  • The first thing that NORAD searches for is the infrared signature from Rudolph’s nose. Using the Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS, these military satellites maintain a super-high orbit above the Earth to detect any infrared signatures from things like intercontinental ballistic missiles. This is perfect for detecting Santa’s sleigh since you can be sure to find Rudolph at the helm in case of an unforeseen snow storm.
  • The North Warning System is also used to aid in Santa tracking. This system is comprised of 47 radar systems installed all along the Canadian coastline, including the polar region. This enables NORAD to detect any unknown aircraft, or sleigh, entering the airspace.
  • Additional radar stations and radar satellites distributed throughout the world are also used for Santa tracking. This includes radar systems located on naval ships and platforms, enabling the continued tracking between continents. These naval ships are placed on stand-by in case Santa hits any turbulence and they must assist in gift retrieval.
  • Once detected in North American airspace, fighter jets are used to escort Santa along. These jets, capable of getting into the air quickly, are located throughout North America and are part of Operation Noble Eagle which began a few days after September 11, 2001. Of course, because Santa travels so fast, he has to slow down to say hello to the fighter pilots.
  • NORAD has also installed ‘Santa Cameras’ at landmarks around the world to record Santa as he passes by. (OK – this one isn’t real)

Each year, NORAD maintains a website containing information about holiday traditions, music and games for kids (and adults like me) to explore. And, of course, Santa’s progress, utilizing the above technology, can be watched during his Christmas Eve journey. The website receives almost 9 million visitors from more than 200 countries every year. In addition, NORAD organizes over 1500 volunteers to answer calls and emails on Christmas Eve, many of whom are military personnel. Thank you for your service.

All this technology used for a man that does not exist? I think not.

References:

http://www.norad.mil/About-NORAD/NORAD-Tracks-Santa/

https://www.theverge.com/2016/12/24/14044412/norad-santa-tracker-christmas-eve-sbirs-satellites-jets-radar

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#1

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/18/2018 7:32 AM

not to worry... in a few years with the surge of all the Snowflakes (how appropriate) transformation agenda,... Santa will be unrecognizable,

with Santa becoming Vegan, and losing 150 lbs.

Shaving off his beard and only have a 5:00 Shadow, or a goatee or more than likely a Van Dyke.

Putting his flowing white locks into a man bun.

And having the sleigh, no longer packed full of gifts, but of protest signs....

Speaking of which , Gender Neutral Santa's (aka (GNS) sleigh is no longer pulled by reindeer, that's cruelty to animals. Instead,.. until GNS's Tesla Electric Sleigh is ready, he'll be riding a dirigible, similar to the picture below...

And the elves, well,... since the elves formed a union, Santa went the way of automation. and laid-off all but one elf, and his name is Winston.

And forget about entering your house to put the gifts under the tree,... I'm not even going there with the violations,... instead, you may pick up your gift at the your local community center designated 'Safe Space' to collect your gift...

and btw, one can no longer have a tree, instead, everyone has a Festivus Pole to celebrate.

And don't ever, ever call Santa a man..., Santa consists of and needs to recognize as all 63 and counting genders.

I hope I didn't insult anybody, but I'm sure I have,... I always do, and with that said,...

"Happy Festivus to all, and to all a good night!"

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/18/2018 9:49 AM

phoenix911,

Please adhere to the rules set forth by the CR4 administrators, namely:

"5. Please stay on topic. Posts and comments should be of a technical nature and involve some aspect of engineering, science or technology. If you delve into other topical areas (business, entertainment, sports, etc.), please do your best to tie them back to one of CR4's main focal points. Posts focusing on politics or religion will probably be removed. There are plenty of places on the Web to talk about politics or religion. CR4 isn't one of them. Likewise, strong political and religious sentiments should be kept out of profiles, signatures and other content."

Thank you!

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/18/2018 1:03 PM

considering the topic,... that's a stretch, but ok...

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#7
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Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/19/2018 7:55 AM

ADMIN: Deleted Post

Inappropriate Image: This post (or part of this post) was deleted because it included an inappropriate image that violates the Rules of Conduct.

It’s to the point that one needs to give Her/him/it the Mick ‘Dundee Handshake’ to see what exactly are you dealin with... without getting too technical...

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#9
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Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/19/2018 11:48 PM

Thanks.. first I got a huge laugh from Phoenix post and then I got a huge laugh for the admonishment..

Really? Come on where's the spirit of the holidays. Socks too tight?

I'll just go ahead and mark myself OT right now.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/20/2018 9:02 AM

My humor may be raw... but I know it isn’t very PC... that was the problem. IMO.

but I tip my hat to the mods, they didn’t delete it. They knew something was there, but just didn’t recognize it.

speaking of Santa’s form of transportation.... Back in the 90’s, I had a project in California... and being from the Midwest it’s a long cramped flight home, Sacramento to St Paul to Chicago to Green Bay, Wi.. or something along those lines.

after 3 weeks of 18/7 days, I got in my flight up in Sacramento... and to my surprise we were about to take off, they started to button up the plane, (closed the doors) I had a window seat and no one was in the seat next to me. A few empty seats I was elated, can stretch out and relax... if you can imagine one can relax in economy... lol.

then we waited,... and waited... then the pilot announced we are waiting for a passenger... well, they open the door up, and on comes a fellow, beard, long white hair in a pony tail, plaid shirt, carthart pants,... 6’-4”, 280-300 lbs??..., I thought to myself,... what is a hippy dressing like a regular linberjack fellow, even though, he did looked vaguely familiar.

i look around at all the empty seats thinking,... what are the chances that his seat is the open one next to me... well, very good.... he sat down next to me, and his butt brushed against my elbow that was in my seat area... and I thought to myself.. crap...

He turn to me, with a twinkle in his eye and he apoligized,... I think, his eye twinkle temporarily blinded me.... anyways, we started talking... turns out, he was a professional Santa Claus, from New York,... there’s a whole order of these Santa’s. He had to go to Santa School... he even gave me his business card.

we were talking and before you know it, 6-8 seats ahead of us, and 6-8 seat behind us and all around us, we talking to Santa, listen to his story’s, and this 3 hour flight was over in no time. One of the most enjoyable flights I had.

And to keep this in engineering terms or at least following the direction of the thread,... NORAD has nothing to worry about, for...

  • Santa does not travel in a sleigh pulled by reindeer.
  • nor does Santa fly in a diragble piloted by an elf named Winston,
  • or does Santa fly in an electric Tesla sleigh...

How Santa travels, is that Santa flies....

I hope I didn’t offend anyone,... but I’m sure I have, I always do.

btw it was 42 degrees F this morning, and we all know what that means...

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/20/2018 9:16 AM

GREAT story! Even though traveling around the holidays can be [insert preferred unprintable adjective of choice], sometimes you get a surprise like sitting next to a Santa. Several years ago I flew from Albany to Knoxpatch on Christmas Eve. I left in the afternoon and made it to Detroit. The connecting flight was GREATLY delayed; earlier in the week bad weather in the midwest screwed up coordination of planes and crews. There we were in an airline terminal on Christmas Eve, and a few families with smallish kids were among the travelers. I couldn't believe how well-behaved those kids were. Everyone was making the best of an unpleasant situation. We finally took off around 11:30 PM and got to Knoxpatch around 1:00 AM. Felt bad for my brother, who had chauffeur duty that night. USAir lost my suitcase but managed to find it pretty fast.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/20/2018 9:25 AM

I agree,.. I learned back then,... never judge people,... I do anyways... but it’s surprising.

my flight last month, There was a couple with what appears to be a 2 and a 5 year old., a seat in front and across the aisle, that went above and beyond keeping their child entertained or distracted from disturbing others...

i let them know my appreciation. Turned out, his family was visiting from Ireland to visit his America wife’s parents.

sorry to hear about your luggage,... just remember... giving the chance... always, always trade up... if they can’t find yours...

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#13
In reply to #9

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/20/2018 9:19 AM

Btw,.. the link the mods did delete, was the reference where a poll was taken for the new gender neutral Santa of where I based my post off of...

It was somewhat racy... at least by Amish standards. ... ah,.. I think I did it again.

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#3

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/18/2018 10:31 AM

I'm sure many of us remember the warnings that Santa was getting closer and closer to wherever we lived when we were kids and our parents using that news as a way to get us into bed.

I was just chatting with our blogger. She pointed out that both parents and children will find that the science discussed on the NORAD site is interesting -- in addition to its utility tracking Saint Nick.

For our CR4 members in other countries -- do you have Santa tracking services too? Or were your parents able to get you to go to bed without NORAD's help?

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#5
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Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/18/2018 10:54 PM

The only problem I have with Santa is he puts everything on my credit card...

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#6

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/19/2018 12:07 AM

I could just imagine the unknown thousands of children pestering their parents to rush them to " Landmarks " , so they could get a " Santa Selfie " !

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#8

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/19/2018 11:44 PM

Last Year after getting requests for various gift cards from relative kidlets.

I decided to hand out Jewel (grocery store)

Gift cards...

When asked why!?

...So you can go to the store and pick out aàaaany gift card you like..

That's the true magic of the season because no one requested a gift card for me this year.

It's a minor victory but I'll take it.

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#10
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Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/20/2018 8:22 AM

My goodness, Jewel ... that brings back memories. I think I still have a Jewel nylon shopping bag from 1991. You can get some good stuff at a supermarket these days! Or you can sell the gift card to one of those online services that pay cash for unwanted cards.

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#15

Re: Tracking Santa with NORAD’s Technology

12/24/2018 7:14 AM

In case anyone was worried, NORAD will still be running their Santa tracker today, despite the partial government shutdown. Glad we will not be disappointing the kids!

https://www.foxnews.com/us/norad-santa-tracker-will-still-run-despite-government-shutdown

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