Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
MIT Lincoln Laboratory, also known as Lincoln Lab, is a federally funded research and development center managed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and funded by the United States Department of Defense. Lincoln Lab is located at Hanscom Field in the town of Lexington, Massachusetts, and was founded in 1951.
In 1950, MIT undertook a summer study, named Project Charles, to explore the feasibility of establishing a major laboratory focused on air defense. The summer study recommended the establishment of a laboratory, named Project Lincoln, (later renamed Lincoln Laboratory) to be operated by MIT for the Army, Navy and Air Force. In the early years, the most important developments to come out of Lincoln Lab were SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment ), a nationwide network of radar and anti-aircraft weapons linked to digital computers, and the DEW (Distant Early Warning) Line, a radar surveillance system placed along the polar gateway to the United States.
There was a controversy surrounding Lincoln Lab between 2001 and 2004, pertaining to test data for a component of the National Ballistic Missile Defense System. It has been alleged (most notably by MIT faculty member Theodore Postol) that the 1999 "POET" report, co-authored by two staff members (who are no longer with the Lab), may have contained fabricated test data. There are no allegations that Lincoln Laboratory fabricated data or interefered with the investigation. The investigation is now closed, with the Department of Defense insisting that the information in question is classified; Postol disputes this argument.
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