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Home arrow Spotlight arrow GISuser Spotlights arrow Believe!! NORAD Santa prepares to Track Santa on Christmas Eve     

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Believe!! NORAD Santa prepares to Track Santa on Christmas Eve PDF Print E-mail
Written by Glenn Letham (GISuser editor)   
17 December 2006
Once again the crew in Colorado Springs is preparing the NORAD radar system (aka. North warning system) to track Santa's treck on Christmas eve. Monitoring the system closely, the NORAD team will share images, video and radar sighting updates with the World via this fabulous website known as NORAD Santa. Tracking Santa via this resource is a tradition in our household and in my mind this is THE best Santa monitoring system you'll find... hands down! Bookmark this resosurce and be sure to check in often on Christmas eve with everyone in your household that Believes! Note: the system uses data captured via radar, satellites, Santa cams, and fighter jets!

Using the North Warning System, a system of 47 radar system installations across Canada's North, NORAD will once again track the movements of Santa Claus as he sets out on his journey around the Globe on Christmas eve. NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa - radar, satellites, Santa Cams and jet fighter aircraft. This year NORAD celebrates more than 51 years of tracking Santa... congrats to the Colorado Springs-based NORAD crew and volunteers at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Bases on doing a fantastic job! Note: the site is published in 6 languages for all to enjoy.

How it works:

  • The moment Santa leaves, NORAD starts tracking him with radar - these are the same satellites that monitor us against a misile attack.
  • As Santa approches various regions of the World, a Santa cam will capture some video footage and publish the results on the Internet for all to see. The Santa Cam produces both video and still images.
  • NORAD SantaThe last system used is the NORAD jet fighter. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take off out of Newfoundland to intercept and welcome Santa to North America.
  • Tracking Santa with NORAD Santa will teach children not only about geography and Santa's Route, they will also learn about the different traditions around the World and the various ways that people celebrate the Christmas Holiday season.

santa map

Using  the North Warning Radar System and "Santa Cams", NORAD and their partners follow Santa's every move on his journey.

Then, NORAD deploys CF-18 fighters from Canada to  escort him and take a few photos along the way. Make sure you sit down with the kids on Christmas eve and show them this resource.. it's very cool!

Using Microsoft's Virtual Earth app. development tools, visitors are presented with a nifty map linking to Santa sightings from around the World. See Santa Map Here

About NORAD Tracking Santa
The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955.

When Santa Comes to North America

Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take off out of Newfoundland to intercept and welcome Santa to North America. Then at numerous locations in Canada other CF-18 fighter pilots escort Santa, while in the United States American NORAD fighter pilots in either the F-15 or F-16 get the thrill of flying with Santa and the famous Reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. About a dozen NORAD fighters in Canada and the United States are equipped with Santa Cams.

NORAD is the bi-national U.S.-Canadian military organization responsible for the aerospace defense of the United States and Canada. NORAD was created by a 1958 agreement between Canada and the United States. The agreement has been renewed nine times - most recently in 2000.

NORAD captured this photo of Santa on a rooftop in 1956

Norad Santa is a truly fun and educational resource and a must-use for those of you that Believe!! This is a tradition here at the Letham household!


Last Updated ( 21 December 2006 )
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