HP Tech Helps NORAD Track Santa


HP EliteBooks Are Helping NORAD Track Santa!

There's no question that it takes a village to track Santa on Christmas Eve – not to mention the best in technology and more than a few eyes in the sky. We’re celebrating another year of partnering with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which relies on our EliteBooks for its NORAD Tracks Santa (NTS) program on Christmas Eve.


Why the EliteBook? Not only is it a top pick for businesses, but the EliteBook’s unique combination of mobility and security features also make it the right tool for this important job. The NORAD Command Center chose the HP EliteBook 8470p for its combination of modern design and engineering, as well as the important mobility and security that government organizations need.


For example, the EliteBook 8470p has passed vigorous MIL-STD 810G testing for vibration, dust, shock, altitude, high and low temperature, temperature shock, humidity and other weather-related factors. It also offers high quality visuals and can be plugged into additional monitors, making sure NORAD staff doesn’t miss a moment of Santa’s journey.


Why NORAD and Santa?

NORAD is a United States and Canada bi-national organization responsible for the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. The NTS program helps to increase public awareness of NORAD defense missions and foster positive relationships with communities at home and abroad – and tracking Santa is at the top of the list every December.


So how did they get involved with the jolly old elf himself? Glad you asked – because it’s a great story. In 1955, a local media advertisement asked children to call Santa direct – except that the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, children instead reached the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center – NORAD’s predecessor.


Back in 1955, that happened to be Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, who picked up the phone to hear a child asking if he was Santa – and when he would arrive at her house. Shoup told the little girl that he wasn’t, but that Santa would be arriving soon, since he was able to track Santa using NORAD radar.


The rest, as they say, is history – and NORAD began a tradition that’s has carried on ever since. Today, the mission’s goals are to spread good will and cheer during the holiday season, as well as to highlight NORAD’s high-tech approach to accomplishing its bi-national mission – and the HP EliteBook helps them do just that.


NTSVolunteersEliteBookResized.jpgIt’s a big job, too. Last year, more than 22 million unique visitors came to the NORAD Santa Tracker website, and they expect even more this year. You might say that NORAD uses our EliteBooks as a tool to manage the ultimate in “big data” when tracking Santa – gathering information from NORAD satellites and uploading it into maps.


This big job also includes the help of more than 1,200 volunteers during the month of December, who come to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado to help take calls from children around the world. Here at HP, we’re proud to use our technology for such an important mission.


Want to find out more? Check out this post at GovLoop.com for more details about the NORAD Tracks Santa program. Ready to track Santa yourself? Just go to the website to find out how NORAD tracks Santa, plus more on NORAD’s mission, frequently asked questions, games and more. Or, if you want to make a phone call to track Santa, just call 1-877-HI-NORAD. Happy tracking – and happy holidays from all of us at HP!

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