Burroughs AN/FST-2 Coordinate Data Transmitting Set

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The Burroughs AN/FST-2 Coordinate Data Transmitting Set (CDTS) was a Cold War military computer system at SAGE radar stations for displaying aircraft tracks and converting them for digital transmission to IBM AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Centrals at air defense data centers. Developed by the Great Valley Research Laboratory of the Burroughs Corporation as part of the Electronic Systems Division's 416L network of computers,[1]:241 134 CDTSs were deployed.[2] Each was to "process the raw radar data, antenna position information, and IFF data, and send it over voice grade toll phone lines"[3] at ~1200 baud with 1/4 mile precision.[4] The transmissions were received as "Long Range Radar Input" at SAGE Direction Centers, which performed the aircraft control and warning operations (e.g., launch and flight control for CIM-10 Bomarc SAMs) and provided command information to Command Centers which forwarded data to the NORAD command center in Colorado (Ent AFB, 1963 Chidlaw Building, and the 1966 Cheyenne Mountain Complex). The AN/FST-2A included 2 vacuum tube computers and accepted 14 input signals (32 inputs for transistorized AN/FST-2B sets).[5]

External images
"AN/FST-2 in SAGE System"
AN/FST-2 data flow to AN/FSQ-7
end view of racks
OA-1204 & -367 consoles


  1. ^ History of Strategic and Ballistic Missile Defense, 1945-1955: Volume I (PDF). 
  2. ^ Gray, George (March 1999). "Some Burroughs Transistor Computers". Unisys History Newsletter. Retrieved 2010-01-24 – via GAtech.edu. The Burroughs Great Valley Research Laboratory at Paoli outside Philadelphia… When the system was complete, 134 of these data communications devices had been installed. 
  3. ^ "AN/FST-2, RADAR Data Processor/Network System". Williamson-Labs.com. Retrieved 2013-01-24. took raw analog radar data, along with operator overlaid masking (editing), digitized it, and placed it on voice grade toll telephone lines. … The AN/FST-2 used about 8000 vacuum tubes in three bays of racks. 
  4. ^ "title tbd". Retrieved 2013-01-24. Each system processes data all the time but only the active system transmits data to the direction center and controls the height finder radar. … Data was [digitized] in quarter mile increments. One radar quarter mile was 3.09 microseconds. 
  5. ^ Transmitting Set Coordinate Data Archived July 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Radar.tpub.com (1965-12-15). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.

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