ADC F-102/106 effectiveness (SAGE)

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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f-16adf

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Unread post14 Mar 2017, 15:00

I always wondered just how effective the Hughes MG-10 (in the Deuce) and MA-1 (in the Six) were in the interception mission? I read somewhere that the MA-1 had the first installed digital computer for a fire control system. And that ADC considered the MG-10 as a mature system to be installed in export (sadly there never were any) F-106's; I guess the MA-1 was judged too classified for export.

Even though both radar systems were to incorporate vacuum tubes, if there was a malfunction within SAGE, were both jets able to conduct intercepts autonomously?
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basher54321

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Unread post14 Mar 2017, 23:37

Some info here http://www.f-106deltadart.com/sage_system.htm

In the videos it describes SAGE as 2 computers and was supposed to failover to the Slave if the Master failed - whether it actually worked I don't know (claims 99.6% availability ) - there might be some old comments on here from pilots who flew them.
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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 02:36

What year did it finally go offline? I know the pillboxes can still be seen in some places.
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basher54321

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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 14:09

IBM say 1984

The SAGE system remained in service until January 1984, when it was replaced with a next-generation air defense network.


http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm10 ... cons/sage/
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basher54321

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Unread post15 Mar 2017, 14:13

More from MIT https://www.ll.mit.edu/about/History/SA ... ystem.html


The concept of operations for SAGE was fairly simple and was similar to that of modern automated air defense systems. However, it was pioneering at the time. A large network of radars would automatically detect a hostile bomber formation as it approached the U.S. mainland from any direction. The radar detections would be transmitted over telephone lines to the nearest SAGE direction center, where they would be processed by an AN/FSQ-7 computer. The direction center would then send out notification and continuous targeting information to the air bases best situated to carry out interception of the approaching bombers, as well as to a set of surface-to-air missile batteries. The direction center would also send data to and receive data from adjoining centers, and send situational awareness information to the command centers. As the fighters from the air bases scrambled and became airborne, the direction center would continue to process track data from multiple radars and would transmit updated target positions in order to vector the intercepting aircraft to their targets. After the fighter aircraft intercepted the approaching bombers, they would send raid assessment information back to the direction center to determine whether additional aircraft or missile intercepts were necessary.


1. Early warning radar detects approaching aircraft
2. Radar reports automatically transmitted to direction center (DC) via phone lines
3. DC processes data
4. Air bases, HQs, and missile batteries notified
5. Data relayed between DC and adjoining centers
6. DC assigns interceptor aircraft and vectors interceptors to targets
7. Interceptors rendezvous with and intercept targets
8. DC informs HQ of results; missile batteries provide second line of defense if needed


The SAGE system, by the time of its full deployment, consisted of 100s of radars, 24 direction centers, and 3 combat centers spread throughout the U.S. The direction centers were connected to 100s of airfields and surface-to-air missile sites, providing a multilayered engagement capability. Each direction center housed a dual-redundant AN/FSQ-7 computer, evolved from MIT's experimental Whirlwind computer of the 1950s. These computers hosted programs that consisted of over 500,000 lines of code and executed over 25,000 instructions—by far the largest computer programs ever written at that time. The direction centers automatically processed data from multiple remote radars, provided control information to intercepting aircraft and surface-to-air missile sites, and provided command and control and situational awareness displays to over 100 operator stations at each center. It was far and away the most grandiose systems engineering effort—and the largest electronic system-of-systems "ever contemplated."


Although the basic concept for SAGE was simple, the technological challenges were immense. One of the greatest immediate challenges was the need to develop a digital computer that could receive vast quantities of data from multiple radars and perform the real-time processing to produce targeting information for intercepting aircraft and missiles. Fortunately, and serendipitously, the initial concept development for such a computer was taking place on the MIT campus in the Servomechanisms Laboratory, under the direction of Jay Forrester. This effort, with its maturation under SAGE, laid the foundation for a revolution in digital computing, which subsequently had a profound impact on the modern world.
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mixelflick

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Unread post16 Mar 2017, 15:00

I got interested in military aviation in the mid 1980's, just in time to catch the -106 at a few airshows. Loud, unique looking bird. Watched it take off with two bags and it appeared to me the wing was really bending downward. Might have been the heat distortion off the runway.

Both the F-102 and F-106 I found intriguing because of the delta wing. Had never seen it before, only read about French Mirage's. I suppose they served their purpose..
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f-16adf

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Unread post16 Mar 2017, 16:46

Back in the 1980's (and use to seeing F-4C Phantoms fly over my house on a near daily basis) a 87th FIS F-106 came in from Sawyer AFB. And man I thought, ....this is one absolutely beautiful looking jet. The Six and the Deuce did win the beauty contest-
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Unread post17 Mar 2017, 14:59

Salute!

Well, you re reading a post from someone that flew the Deuce prior to the VooDoo with the 18th FIS ( still active last time I checked).

I do not think the 106 system was digital, but the SAGE ground stuff certainly was. First time I ever saw a trick ball and the equivalent of a mouse click. The displays were very advanced and FAA/ATC didn't catch up for years.

The VooDoo and Deuce systems were good for their time, and included IRSTS plus neat cross-coupled modes. The Six system was very advanced. We could use the IR to slave the radar, so that made low altitude work a lot easier than pure radar. The Deuce had a mechanical cone that shaped the radar beam and allowed tracking by detecting a stronger signal at one spot on the circular scan pattern. The VooDoo and Six had "internal lobing" that used phase differences/varying lobe frequencies and small slots in the waveguide. This made it harder for the enema to do angle deception. Best mode IMHO was the IR-radar search mode. So we had great steering for our IR missiles and good range to ensure launch zone was optimum. Was sneaky and the enema EWO thot we were still searching as we pulled the trigger, heh heh.

One thing the VooDoo and Six had was a hydraulically tuned magnetron. So that puppy could actually change frequencies between our PRF emissions - figure 100 mhz or so bandwidth. The EWO's told us that it looked like static on their scopes. Basic tuning was 1 Khz, and then we had the higher rates when things got sticky. So we had the genesis of spread spectrum back then in the mid-60's. Only guy that ever fooled my RIO had a range gate stealing gizmo on his B-58, and using a TWT it didn't care if our tracking freq was jittered. I finally hosed off my AIM-4 IR missiles and then RTB, as we could nver get a soulution for the GENIE.

Dunno about the Six, but the VooDoo computer actually used mechanical gears for some inputs, and they would lock up is overtake was too high - think head on snap-up versus a mach 3 Bomarc at 70,000 feet.

The SAGE system had a good datalink and on the Six it could be coupled to the autopilot. In my jet the RIO had to find the tgt that was supposed to be inside a circle that was displayed on his screen. I followed the datalink heading and altitude commands we received. If the main centers went down we had small ones - BUIC, basically using the radar stations themselves for C&C.

I look back and was glad to fly the Deuce right outta pilot training. All of us had to do it before going to the Six or VooDoo, so we were actually combat ready six months later, then went to our final base. My original Deuce assignment was cancelled because ADC was closing down most of the Deuce bases, hence I went to VooDoos at Grand Forks - the garden spot along the Canadian border, heh heh.

Gums recalls.....
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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basher54321

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Unread post17 Mar 2017, 20:28

Nice - cheers Gums !
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outlaw162

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Unread post18 Mar 2017, 01:00

It worried me that they expected some of the bad guys to get past the Canucks.

Duck and cover. :shock:
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Unread post18 Mar 2017, 14:59

Salute!

Actually, Outlaw, we used to orbit about 150 to 200 miles north of the border. Our normal CAP was at the north end of Lake Winnepeg and we could see Hudson Bay.

The Cannuck CF-100 and F-101B orbits were another 150 - 200 miles north of there. So figure some of them were orbiting north of Hudson Bay!!!!

Of historical note is that Canada allowed foreigh aircraft loaded with nuclear weapons to fly over their country in peacetime. Our NORAD jets had to wait for the balloon to go up, but the SAC weenies had Chrome Dome orbits up there for years.

Gums remembers...
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Unread post19 Mar 2017, 20:18

So the Canucks bought off on the 'human reliability' program for the BUFF guys with multi-megatons, but not for the VooDoo guys with the little pop-guns......

.....go figure. :D
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Corsair1963

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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 08:52

f-16adf wrote:Back in the 1980's (and use to seeing F-4C Phantoms fly over my house on a near daily basis) a 87th FIS F-106 came in from Sawyer AFB. And man I thought, ....this is one absolutely beautiful looking jet. The Six and the Deuce did win the beauty contest-


I remember seeing the F-106's flying out of K.I. Sawyer back in the early 80's from time to time. As I was a Freshman at Northern Michigan University in nearby Marquette, MI. Even had a high school friend stationed at the base for a time.

As a matter of fact I almost crashed once. When a B-52 out of Sawyer surprised me one afternoon flying an extremely low level (tree top level). When he came out of nowhere and startled me! I was driving west along the coast with the forest to the north of me and Lake Michigan to the south. When a huge roar and the sky suddenly became black! I swerved almost loosing control of my car.
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 08:59

Some years later I had a young guy that worked for me. His father was retired USAF and had flown both the F-102 and F-106......(small world)
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 14:23

That's awesome, probably driving on 41 or 2 (Escanaba to the Bridge)?

Just being up in the UP was beautiful in summer. Go there in July or August, and that on shore flow off Superior really cuts down on the heat. Winter is a total different story, Houghton gets over 200 inches of snow. Wow-

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