The sleigh bells on Santa’s sleigh are no ordinary sleigh bells. They contain high tech electronics that serve many useful purposes.
They are weather monitors. They provide detailed information about current temperatures, precipitation, air pressure and other climate data. They give the North Pole real time data right where Santa and the reindeer are located.
They are radios. They listen and they broadcast what is going on with Santa and the sleigh. There are thousands of bells, thus there are thousands of receptors and cameras. These come back to the North Pole in high definition so clear that it feels like we are really there.
They are sleigh monitors. We can see all sides of Santa’s sleigh and detect at any given moment if there is an damage or if any adjustments need to be made.
They are reindeer trackers. They monitor the health of each reindeer, measuring their heart rate, breathing rate, and even their hunger levels. We know if they have a cold or even if they suffer from skin irritation.
They are recorders. They take in everything of the environment of where Santa’s sleigh is. They measure the wind. They take video everywhere Santa goes. They record location information and broadcasts it back to the North Pole.
They are advanced mapping devices. They help us improve on the maps we have by updating changes in terrain in any location. If new roads are built, we know about it right away. If a building shows up where there wasn’t a building before, the sleigh bells let us known even before Santa lands.
The annual Reindeer Games kick off this week at the North Pole. The games are part of an extensive training program for Santa’s reindeer.
The games are also good training for elves in Flight Command at the North Pole as well. The traffic of incoming and outgoing reindeer gives good practice to new flight controllers at the North Pole.
Believe it or not, there is not just one sleigh leaving the ground on Christmas. Once we launch Santa, there are thousands of other sleighs that take to the skies world wide in support of the Santa effort.
We have to track every one of them.
We also follow the Reindeer games because it gives us a chance as well to improve our reindeer tracking technology. You see, we not only track sleighs, we track reindeer, too.
We monitor each of the reindeer for their health and safety. It is part of our job.
So the reindeer games are a big part of our lead up to Christmas.
We frequently get asked the question “What if something goes wrong?” There is always a plan.
Santa’s sleigh is thoroughly tested. It is redesigned from the ground up every single year with the purpose of getting Santa around the world safer, faster and in one piece. Every contingency is considered.
Has Santa every run into trouble on Christmas Eve? Have their been sleigh crashes? Has Santa ever been stranded? Have there been sleigh failures?
Yes, to all those. Stuff happens. That is why there is a backup plan. There is always a backup plan.
Backup plan A is last year’s sleigh. After all, it worked. It is the latest generation of technology, speed, and safety that worked. If this year’s sleigh can’t make it, last year’s sleigh is pressed into service.
But Santa has thousands of other sleighs at his disposal. He is the largest sleigh collector in the world.
Right now those backup sleighs are being organized. They are being serviced, made ready to fly…just in case.
This work happens at the North Pole even while Santa’s new sleigh continues to be tested every single day.
Flight engineers at the North Pole kicked off the busiest test flight portion of the year by moving Santa’s sleigh to North Dakota, USA for more testing.
You can follow along with the big map used in the tracking center at TrackingSanta.net.
What are they testing for and why in North Dakota?
Santa’s sleigh will be tested in many parts of the world over the next 30 days. Flight engineers need to evaluate how it performs in different climates. The plains of North Dakota are cold and very windy. These are important tests.
They will be testing how the sleigh flies empty versus how it flies when full. They will test it at high altitudes and low. They will go fast and slow. They will test it and test it and test it some more.
By the time Santa climbs into the sleigh on Christmas Eve it will have been tested over most places on Earth by qualified test pilots in every possible kind of situation logging hundreds of thousands of air miles.
Trackers over at SantaTrackers.net learned earlier this week where at least some of the Regional Tracking Centers will be built.
Sector 1 will utilize the same location as was used last year in Kiritibati. This sector covers all of the South Pacific.
Sector 2, covering Asia and the Middle East, will have a tracking center located this year on Christmas Island.
Sector 3 was just announced on Friday. The Regional Headquarters and Tracking Center for Europe and Africa will be located in Bethlehem, Wales, UK.
Sector 4, covering Central and South America, will be located in Natal, Brazil.
We are yet to learn where the location will be for Sector 5, covering North America. That announcement is expected soon.
These centers need to be up and operational as soon as possible. The work of establishing stable communication with the North Pole and organizing trackers in each sector takes some time. We need all pieces in place by Christmas Eve.