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1951-1952

The Cape Cod System

  • MIT’s Digital Computer Laboratory did a short study of the centralized computer and radar problem.  This study was called Project Charles. To carry out this study, MIT established a new laboratory on July 26, 1951 – MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • By 1952, an experimental radar network known as the Cape Cod System was established. Formal trials of the system started in October 1953, with flight tests two afternoons a week. The tests continued until June 15, 1954.
  • To improve reliability, Forrester invented magnetic-core memory, considered one of the greatest breakthroughs of the Whirlwind computer. The first bank of core memory was wired in on August 8, 1953.

Magentic-Core Memory

  • To improve reliability, Forrester invented magnetic-core memory, considered one of the greatest breakthroughs of the Whirlwind computer. The first bank of core memory was wired in on August 8, 1953.

.

1953

1955-1957

System Development Corp.

  • On March 7, 1955, Air Defense Command (ADC) headquarters issued the Operational Plan for SAGE, prepared jointly by ADC and Lincoln Laboratory.
  • In April 1955, a section of RAND, the System Development Division, began helping MIT with the large task of programming SAGE. In November 1956 the division broke off to form System Development Corporation, with a $20 million contract to continue the work started by RAND and with additional contracts for programming the SAGE computers.
  • Between 1955 – 1957, the Cape Cod System was expanded to create a fully operational prototype known as the Experimental SAGE Subsector (ESS).
  •  

MITRE Joins The Team

  • As SAGE moved from an experiment to a fully operational military system, there was growing concern about how it fit into the mission of a university. It was decided that continued system engineering should be done by a new corporation spun off from the digital computer division of MIT
  • The MITRE Corporation was incorporated as a nonprofit organization on July 21, 1958. Robert Everett joined the new organization as the first technical director, along with 485 other Lincoln Laboratory employees. MITRE continued on as the lead systems engineer through deployment in 1962 until the system’s replacement in the 1980s. MITRE continues work today as systems engineer for America’s space and ground-based detection systems.

1958