AGI joins Santa and the Elves in their mission-critical Christmas Eve endeavor
- Dec 4, 2019
- Blog Post
- Systems Tool Kit (STK)
Related virtual training on December 19 at 1 pm EST - STK Christmas Special: When can I see Santa?
What's one of our favorite holiday traditions? Tracking Santa on Christmas Eve!
Before his annual trip around the world, Santa’s team will be equipped with the latest in modeling and analysis software to help guide his sleigh during the most famous journey of the year.
For 22 years, AGI has worked with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Operations Center on the annual Santa Tracker experience, attracting more than 24 million visitors from across the globe each year.
“The AGI engineering elves joined this tradition in 1997, and we are thrilled to continue partnering with NORAD to bring this fun, family tradition to life,” said AGI co-founder and CEO, Paul Graziani. “While our top priority continues to be helping our customers do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, preparing for Santa’s yuletide journey is one of our all-time favorite projects.”
AGI uses its flagship software program, Systems Tool Kit (STK), to model 2D and 3D Santa trackers that follow Jolly Old Saint Nick on his trek around the world. Once Rudolph and the other reindeer are ready for takeoff, the trackers will analyze and visualize the data NORAD receives about Kris Kringle’s progress from fighter jets, satellites, radars, and Santa Cams. In some locations where high-tech Santa Cams are stationed, viewers will catch glimpses of Santa and his reindeer as they fly past the cameras.
“STK is traditionally used by engineers and analysts to design, test, analyze, and operate complex aerospace systems quickly and with unprecedented accuracy. But around the holidays, this product is put to use for another important ‘mission-critical’ project,” said Graziani.
NORAD also collaborates with Cesium, a recent spin-off company and strategic partner of AGI. Cesium’s open-source, web-based globe allows millions of people to visualize and interact with Santa’s journey. This innovative mapping technology shows Santa’s current position on the 3D globe, which models realistic terrain, oceans, and imagery.
Starting at 2:01 a.m. EST, viewers can follow Santa’s progress in real time as he travels the world, beginning from the International Date Line. Along his route, Santa will pass famous landmarks around the globe including the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and the Statue of Liberty. Viewers can click map icons to learn more about these world-famous locations.
Fans of all ages don’t have to wait until Christmas Eve to enjoy the fun! Between now and December 24, go to www.noradsanta.org. Visit the North Pole and download the mobile app and new games each day. It’s fun – for free – for the entire family!
And starting December 24 at 6 a.m. EST, callers can talk to a live operator to inquire about Santa's whereabouts by dialing 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you really want to know how the magic works, join us for the virtual training STK Christmas Special: When can I see Santa? Our training elves show you how to see Santa from your front porch using a predicted flight path in STK with external ephemeris. You’ll also learn how to load in a custom model, like Santa and his reindeer, and insert objects and change them using the 3D object-editing tool.
Enjoy this magical time of the year!