The Jasons MITRE SAGE Army Palantir Connection

  • So the other day I was reading in the news an article about a group of Scientists who call themselves The Jasons losing their government contracts.

    Here is the link:

    After Pentagon Ends Contract, Top-Secret Scientists Group Vows To Carry On

    A secretive group of scientists who advise the U.S. government on everything from spy satellites to nuclear weapons is scrambling to find a sponsor after the Defense Department abruptly ended its contract late last month.

    The group, known as the Jasons, will run out of money at the end of April. The Pentagon says that the group’s advice is no longer needed, but independent experts say it has never been more relevant and worry the department is throwing away a valuable resource.

    From here we were lead to their Wikipedia page:

    JASON (advisory group)

    For administrative purposes, JASON’s activities are run through the MITRE Corporation, a non-profit corporation in McLean, Virginia, which operates seven Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) for the Federal Government of the United States.

    The founders of JASON include John Wheeler and Charles H. Townes. Other early members included Murray Gell-Mann, S. Courtenay Wright, Robert Gomer, Walter Munk, Murph Goldberger, Hans Bethe, Nick Christofilos, Fred Zachariasen, Marshall Rosenbluth, Ed Frieman, Hal Lewis, Sam Treiman, Conrad Longmire, Steven Weinberg, Roger Dashen, and Freeman Dyson.

    MITRE Corporation

    Under the leadership of C. W. Halligan, Mitre was formed in 1958 to provide overall direction to the companies and workers involved in the U.S. Air Force SAGE project. Most of the early employees were transferred to Mitre from the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where SAGE was being developed.


    The Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) was a system of large computers and associated networking equipment that coordinated data from many radar sites and processed it to produce a single unified image of the airspace over a wide area. SAGE directed and controlled the NORAD response to a Soviet air attack, operating in this role from the late 1950s into the 1980s.

    SAGE became operational in the late 1950s and early 1960s at a combined cost of billions of dollars. It was noted that the deployment cost more than the Manhattan Project, which it was, in a way, defending against.

    In 1966, SAGE communications were integrated into the AUTOVON Network.


    The Automatic Voice Network was a worldwide American military telephone system. The system was built starting in 1963, based on the Army’s existing Switch Communications Automated Network (SCAN) system. In June 1966 the Air Defense Command voice network was cut over to the new service. In 1969, AUTOVON switching centers opened in the United Kingdom, and later in other European countries, Asia, the Middle East, and Panama.

    Murray Gell-Mann profile
    MURRAY GELL-MANN is a theoretical physicist; Robert Andrews Millikan Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology; winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics; a co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, where he is a professor and cochairman of the science board; a director of the J.D. and C.T. MacArthur Foundation; one of the Global Five Hundred honored by the U.N. Environment Program; a member of the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology; author of The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex.

    Murray Gell-Mann is an American physicist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles. He is the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, a distinguished fellow and co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, a professor of physics at the University of New Mexico, and the Presidential Professor of Physics and Medicine at the University of Southern California.

    The Santa Fe Institute

    The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) is an independent, nonprofit theoretical research institute located in Santa Fe (New Mexico, United States) and dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of the fundamental principles of complex adaptive systems, including physical, computational, biological, and social systems.

    Freeman Dyson profile
    FREEMAN DYSON, now retired, has spent most of his life as a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, taking time off to advise the US government and write books for the general public.

    Freeman John Dyson FRS (born 15 December 1923) is a British-American theoretical physicist and mathematician. He is known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering.[7][8] He originated several concepts that bear his name, such as Dyson’s transform, the Dyson tree, the Dyson series and the Dyson sphere.

  • The #SAGE Semi-Automatic Ground Environment Air Defense System


    The Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, or SAGE, was the nation’s first air defense system and was the impetus for the establishment of Lincoln Laboratory. The sections below describe the history of this seminal, large-scale system-engineering project, and the role that it had in shaping the culture of Lincoln Laboratory as it exists today.

    The Secretary of the Air Force suggested that part of Lincoln Laboratory, the Digital Computer Division, be spun off from the rest of the Laboratory to continue the systems engineering for SAGE on its own. MIT agreed with the proposal, and the MITRE Corporation was established.

    MITRE was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in July 1958, and Robert Everett left Lincoln Laboratory to become a technical director at MITRE. On January 1, 1959, 485 Lincoln Laboratory employees transferred to MITRE. Neither MIT nor Lincoln Laboratory would remain officially connected with MITRE, but the technical competence of the SAGE project was assured.

  • Palantir wins $800 million contract to build the US Army’s next battlefield software system


    While the DCGS-A contract marks Palantir’s only deal with the military big enough to have its own line item with Congress, the company does have existing military ties. The largest contract that Palantir has previously entered into with the Army was for $22,401,901, starting in 2015. The company also picked up a number of contracts with the Navy over the years, though none approaching the scale of the new potentially $800 million project. Palantir’s largest Navy contracts were for $23,750,000 and $35,804,181 in 2014 and 2017, respectively. The company’s largest previous military contract to date was $216,872,321 for software services for U.S. Special Operations Command. That contract was awarded in 2016 and is set to run through next year.

  • Army Will Hold Off On DCGS-A Award As Palantir Lawsuit Plays Out


    Kevin Kelly, the author of a Mitre report conducted for the Pentagon in 2013 that was never formally released to Congress, is listed among those to be deposed. The report in question was intended to inform the Defense Department and Congress what Palantir could and could not do for the Army. But after initial findings came out, the Pentagon supposedly ran out of funding for the report and it was never completed, according to an industry lobbyist familiar with the issue.



    A computer program designed to accomplish these objectives has been written for the AN/FSQ-7 computer at Santa Monica. The model simulates data from a single target and radar as the target follows a specified flight path.

    System Development Corporation
    Santa Monica, California

  • The Integration of Air Traffic Control and Air Defense


    The SAGE direction center contains a large, high-speed, general purpose
    digital computer which centralizes the processing of radar data and coordinates the control of air defense weapons over an area several hundred miles square. To demonstrate that this military system could assist civilian air traffic controllers, CHARM (for CAA High Altitude Remote Monitor) used the Whirlwind computer at NIT to combine filed flight plans from the High Altitude Sector of the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) with SAGE radar data

    The integration will be made possible by the installation during the 1960’ s of nine super combat centers containing improved computers. In these centers the functions of en route, high-altitude air traffic control will be collocated with air defense functions, with some separate and some common functions.

    The SATIN (for SAGE Air Traffic Integration) experimental facility has been partly designed and initial operation is expected in early 1960. SATIN will use a SAGE-type computer located In Lexington, Massachusetts. It will test all traffic control functions planned for the super combat center, but with a reduced capacity of 100 aircraft.