Space Defense Center

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The Space Defense Center (SDC) was a Cold War operation center at 2 Colorado locations: Ent Air Force Base followed by Cheyenne Mountain's Group III Space Defense Center[1] The 1st Aero Squadron manned the SDC at both locations which used the Electronic Systems Division's 496L System[2] for processing and displaying data combined from the US "Air Force's Space Track and the Navy's Spasur" (NAVSPASUR).[3]

History[edit]

The initial 496L System was at Hanscom Field's National Space Surveillance Control Center and the 2nd was installed at Ent AFB's Space Defense Center. The Ent SDC was one of several facilities providing data to the Cheyenne Mountain Combat Operation Center when the nuclear bunker achieved full operational capability on July 1, 1966.[3]

The SDC's ~$5 million Delta I computer system at Cheyenne Mountain became operational on October 28, 1966, with ~53 individual computer programs totalling 345,000 instructions.[3] The Space Defense Center mission moved from Ent to "adjacent to the NORAD command center" in Cheyenne Mountain on February 6, 1967.[4]

The NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex Improvements Program (ESD program 427M[3] contracted in 1972,[5] operational in 1979)[6] included the Space Computational Center (SCC)"[7] intended to[8] replace the Space Defense Center[2] (the 1979 Space Defense Operations Center (SPADOC)[9] was for "replacing the SDC [sic] in Cheyenne Mountain during October.")[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (abstract) 9th Aerospace Defense Division (Report). Ent Air Force Base. 1966. http://airforcehistoryindex.org/data/000/425/800.xml. Retrieved 2012-09-02. "DELTA I (FIFTH STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT OF AND AUTOMATED COMPUTER PROGRAMMING SYSTEM TO PERFORM SDC (SPACE DEFENSE CENTER) FUNCTIONS IN NEW GROUP III SPACE DEFENSE CENTER LOCATED IN NORAD CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN COMPLEX CO."
  2. ^ a b Conoley, Lt Col Ellis K (May 1990). Cheyenne Mountain System Acquisitions: Problems and Principles (Report). Air War College. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA241265. Retrieved 2012-08-06. "The Space Computational Center (SCC) would replace the 496L system.""
  3. ^ a b c d 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. "1854…so-called Semi-Automatic Direction Center System, later known as…Semi-Automatic Ground Environment System, in essence, the Lincoln Transition System. … 1966…NORAD…Combat Operations Center…The center, now [1987] known as the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, integrated several distinct into a single workable unit … the Space Defense Center combining the Air Force's Space Track and the Navy's Spasur."
  4. ^ 1961-1969 Historical reports[which?] (Report). located at "Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB AL, AFHRA Microfilm reel KO363": 1st Aerospace Surveillance and Control Squadron.
  5. ^ http://www.gao.gov/assets/130/123974.pdf
  6. ^ "Cheyenne Mountain Upgrade (CMU)" (webpage transcription). FY97 DOT&E Annual Report (Report). http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/dote97/index.html. Retrieved 2012-09-09. "CMU also upgrades and provides new capability to survivable communication and warning elements at the National Military Command Center (NMCC), U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), and other forward user locations. CMU additionally provides at Offutt, AFB an austere backup to Cheyenne Mountain ballistic missile warning."
  7. ^ NORAD's Missile Warning System: What Went Wrong? (Report). U.S. Government Accountability Office. May 15, 1981. http://archive.gao.gov/f0102/115265.pdf. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC)" (TheLivingMoon.com mirror webpage of former "Official Site"). Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  10. ^ [full citation needed]From satellite tracking to space situational awareness: the USAF and space surveillance, 1957-2007. Retrieved 2012-09-23.