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Captain Alan Arsenault, Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Research and Development Center in New London, Connecticut; IEEE Fellow William Freeman, professor of Computer Science at MIT; and IEEE President Gordon Day unveil one of three IEEE Milestone plaques dedicated by the IEEE Boston Section.

IEEE Boston Section Dedicates Three IEEE Milestones for Navigation and Computing at MIT

5 July 2012 – On 27 June, the IEEE Boston Section dedicated three new IEEE Milestones in Electrical Engineering and Computing for technological breakthroughs that took place at MIT. Ten IEEE Milestones have now been dedicated by The IEEE Boston Section.

Below are details on the newest IEEE Milestones:

LORAN, an acronym for long-range navigation, was an entirely new system of radio navigation developed by the Navigation Division of MIT Radiation Laboratory. It was quickly pressed into service during the Second World War.  By 1946, LORAN was used by thousands of navigators over three-tenths of the surface of the earth. Some 70 LORAN transmitter stations and 75,000 shipborne and airborne navigator’s receivers had been delivered by the various American manufacturers. LORAN was officially replaced by the Global Positioning System in 2010.

Whirlwind Computer
MIT’s Whirlwind computer was developed between 1944 and 1952. A key part of the Whirlwind design was the high-speed and highly reliable magnetic-core memory for the computer storage system. The magnetic-core memory replaced the electrostatic storage tubes previously used in computers. It was used successfully and widely in large and small computers. The Whirlwind computer became the first digital computer that could operate in real, interactive time.

Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE)
Originally developed at MIT, SAGE revolutionized air defense and also contributed significantly to advances in the computer industry and air traffic control. It led to many innovations in the computer industry and is often called the forerunner of today’s complex digital networks. The MITRE Corporation was founded in 1958 to support the future development and deployment of SAGE.


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