[SIGCIS-Members] ADIS cold-war air defense

Daniel Akselrad daniel.akselrad at stanford.edu
Mon Jan 15 07:12:41 PST 2024

Greetings Guy,

This is a fascinating subject — I suggest reaching out to CT Bartlett, archivist at BAE Systems (Formerly Elliott Automation). Bartlett was, himself, a junior engineer at Marconi-Elliott in the 1960s, and he is very knowledgeable on this — he provided the technical reports and photographs for my paper, “Visions of Control: The Head Up Display, Perceptual Labor, and a Lesson for Augmented Reality.” He can be reached at  bartlettct at gmail.com.


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From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> on behalf of Guy Fedorkow via Members <members at lists.sigcis.org>
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2024 10:13:19 AM
To: members <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] ADIS cold-war air defense

Greetings SIGCIS,
  The SAGE air defense system in the US, built in the late 1950's, is well known among Cold War historians-of-technology.
  But there was a competition prior to the awarding of the contract that became SAGE, to Lincoln Labs and IBM.
The competing system was "Air Defense Information System", developed at the University of Michigan's Willow Run Laboratory, in the early 1950's.  That, in turn, was based on a system developed in the U.K., by Elliott Automation, for naval air defense, as outlined in Simon Lavginton's excellent book, "Moving Targets".
  I know the ADIS system was very different from MIT / Lincoln Labs' digital-computer proposal, but, other than being based on analog techniques, I know little about how ADIS works, and have not found a repository of technical reports.
  Is there anyone on this list who might have run into ADIS previously, and might be able to suggest where to search for a description of the ADIS technical approach?

/guy fedorkow

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