Posted on 25 December 2012.
Ed. note: This is cross-posted from energy.gov
Every year since 1998, the Energy Department's Los Alamos National Lab has been using state-of-the-art technology to track Santa Claus as he circles the globe the night before Christmas. You'll be able to monitor St. Nick's journey here starting at 6 am ET on Christmas Eve.
Since Santa doesn’t file his flight path with the Federal Aviation Administration, Los Alamos uses the latest technology to track his whereabouts on the globe, particularly the Cibola Flight Experiment (CFE) and Fast On-orbit Recording of TransientEvents (FORTE) satellites.
These satellites were built respectively by Los Alamos National Lab and another partnership with Sandia National Labs, and mark a significant technological leap in the size of satellites and their abilities. They were originally put into their low-earth orbits (meaning an altitude of 1,200 miles) to help detect nuclear detonations and study lightning from space.
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