When Computers Went to Sea: The Digitization of the United States Navy

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 16, 2003 - Computers - 492 pages
When Computers Went to Sea explores the history of the United States Navy's secret development of code-breaking computers and their adaptation to solve a critical fleet radar data handling problem in the Navy's first seaborne digital computer system - that went to sea in 1962. This is the only book written on the United States Navy's initial application of shipboard digital computers to naval warfare.

Considered one of the most successful projects ever undertaken by the US Navy, the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) was the subject of numerous studies attempting to pinpoint the reason for the systems inordinate success in the face of seemingly impossible technical challenges and stiff resistance from some in the military. The system's success precipitated a digital revolution in naval warfare systems.

Dave Boslaugh details the innovations developed by the NTDS project managers including: project management techniques, modular digital hardware for ship systems, top-down modular computer programming techniques, innovative computer program documentation, and other novel real-time computer system concepts.

Automated military systems users and developers, real-time process control systems designers, automated system project managers, and digital technology history students will find this account of a United States military organization's initial foray into computerization interesting and thought provoking.

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Page 18 states that Watson-Watt designed a communication net with buried phone lines.
NOT TRUE. Watson-Watt was one of the team of scientists under the direction of Sir Henry Tizard. It was Air
Chief Marshal (spelt with one L) Sir Hugh Dowding, the first Commander-in-Chief of the new RAF Fighter Command in 1936 who devised & built up the Home Defence system combining the early low frequency RDF (radar) Home Chain, Royal Observer Corps, AA guns, barrage balloons, early warning sirens etc. as well as his commanders directing minute-to-minute directions to his minimal fighter squadrons. This unique & revolutionary structure known as the Dowding System (still used today around the world) was based at his HQ, RAF Bentley Priory, Stanmore to the north of London.
To get the correct facts read the new biography: DOWDING & CHURCHILL by Dr Vincent Orange.


RadarNew Eyes for the Fleet
A Lingering Problem
The Codebreaking ComputersA Digital Solution
Conception of a New System
Building a New System
Navy Electronics Laboratory Role
No Damned Computer Is Going To Tell Me What To Do
In the Air on Land and Sea
New Horizons for Tactical Computers
Twilight of the Analogs
Give Us More Memory
A Line of Standards
Shield of the Fleet
A Joint Electronics Equipment Designation System

Fuzzy Scopes and Elliptical Circles
Computers on the Airwaves
Developing the Operational Computer Program
Univac NTDS Organization December 11959

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About the author (2003)

David L. Boslaugh is the author of When Computers Went to Sea: The Digitization of the United States Navy, published by Wiley.

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