Santa Tracker

Do you need to know just where Santa is in his progress of delivering gifts to good girls and boys?
Then look no further.
You’ll be able to follow Santa all day on Christmas Eve through the NORAD Santa Tracker website. There are also games to play, music to listen to, gift shop, a theater to watch videos and even a research center to learn more about Santa and NORAD.
There’s a lot to keep children entertained while they anxiously await Santa’s arrival on the website.
It all started in 1955 when a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa, according to NORAD’s website. Instead of reaching Santa the number led to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline”. The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location and the tradition was born.
Then in 1958 the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa. Today NORAD uses the internet to provide children and families with up to the minute tracking of Santa’s activities.
NORAD tracks Santa using four different styles of tracking. First they start with a radar system called the North Warning System. The moment Santa’s lift-off is indicated by the radar tracking device number two starts to follow him, satellites.
The satellites are posed at 22,300 miles above the Earth. They use infrared sensors to track heat. Rudolph’s nose gives off an infrared signature that allows the satellites to track him. The third tracking system used is SantaCams. Using the cameras began in 1998 at the same time NORAD began using the internet. The special cameras are only used on Dec. 24 just to track Santa. Both photographs and videos from the cameras can be seen on the website (
The last system used by NORAD to track Santa is the NORAD jet fighter. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take off out of Newfoundland and welcome Santa to North America. In America NORAD fighter pilots in either the F-15s, F16s or F22s get to exports Santa even though he flies much faster than the jets.
The NORAD site also provides detailed information on the technical data of Santa’s sleigh including the length, width and height as well as other fun facts.
If you do not have access to the website but would like to stay updated on Santa’s whereabouts there is a way to do that too. Just give NORAD a call anytime on Christmas Eve. The number is 1-877-HI-NORAD (1-877-446-6723). Or you can send an email to and a NORAD staff member will return your email with Santa’s last known email. There is also an app that can be downloaded to smartphones.