SAGE System at the Lincoln Laboratory,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SAGE is the acronym for Semiautomatic Ground Environment System

Sometime around 1958 another IFC tech and myself were called by Lt Leggette, our first Battery Commander who had transferred to SAGE, to see if we wanted a grand tour of the system at the Lincoln Laboratory. Of course we accepted and what a tour it was!

Sadly we could not take any pictures but we were given a very good look at what it was all about. The SAGE FSQ-7 computer covered the entire second floor of the Direction Center and was comprised of about 70 large frames containing 60,000 tubes plus all the circuitry involved than ran 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There also was an equal size back-up SAGE computer to bring on line in case the main one needed repairs or preventative maintenance. The entire system also had it's own emergency AC power in case of grid AC power failure.

The data inputs for the computer in the SAGE Direction Center came from many different sources:
1. Higher Headquarters
2. Early Warning Planes
3. Picket Ships
4. Texas Towers
5. Search Radars
6. Gap Filler Radars
7. Height Finder Radars
8. Ground Observer Corps
9. From about 29 other SAGE Direction Centers around the United States

Other inputs included:
1. Weapon's status from all weapons bases
2. Weather data
3. Flight plans of Commercial Aircraft

The data outputs from the SAGE Direction Center went to:
1. Higher Headquarters
2. Air Force Interceptors
3. Nike Units
4. AA Gun Installations
5. Other Missile Units
6. Civil Defense Units
7. To other SAGE Direction Centers so they all were in the loop

The Direction Center

We were also given a non-classified handout booklet about the SAGE system which has quite a few pictures and diagrams in it that the following pictures are from.


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