Fiber Helps Track Santa
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Dec. 23, 2008 -- Fighter jets, satellites, radar systems and a high-speed fiber optic network will be used by to track Santa this year bv personnel at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Tracks Santa operations center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. Information about Santa's flight and the specific locations where he is stopping will be provided to the public by phone and on the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site.
Santa begins his Christmas 2007 flight in this still from a video on the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site.
"While Santa's eight tiny reindeer can move his sleigh full of toys pretty fast, Qwest's fiber optic network operates at the speed of light, so we'll be able to stay at least one step ahead of them and quickly report their whereabouts to everyone tracking the flight," said Diana Gowen, senior vice president and general manager of Qwest Communications Government Services.
The US military has tracked Santa's flight on Christmas Eve since 1955, and this year marks the 50th anniversary that NORAD has led the mission. Last year, the NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) operations center, which was staffed by more than 1000 volunteers, answered nearly 95,000 phone calls and received 140,000 e-mails from around the world. The Web site received more than 10.6 million unique visitors from 212 countries and territories.
NORAD Tracks Santa is now live and features holiday games and activities. On Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24, NORAD will track Santa’s flight and provide live video feeds throughout the day starting at 6 a.m. EST.
Starting at the same time, callers to (877) HI-NORAD, (877) 556-5211, can speak directly to the trackers at NORAD to get Santa’s exact location. They can also be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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