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Faulty Soviet early warning system nearly causes WWIII (1983)

Faulty Soviet early warning system nearly causes WWIII (1983)

Matt Girdis

on 17 September 2012

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Transcript of Faulty Soviet early warning system nearly causes WWIII (1983)

Matt Girdis Ryshan Conaway
Alex Norton Brian Furr Faulty Soviet early warning
system nearly causes
WWIII (1983) What Happened? Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov
Secret Bunker oustide Moscow
Monitored the Soviet Union's early-warning satellite system
Sept. 26, 1983 alarms went off
Petrov had a bad feeling about the warning
US only "launched" 5 missiles
He said the warning system was "raw"
Found out that the satellite had picked up on the sun's reflection off of clouds What Caused the Failure Rare alignment of sunlight on high altitude clouds and satellite
Faulty software could not tell the difference between missiles and sun reflections
Mistakes were made in the design process(programming) Conclusions Computers really can start WWIII
1 Small error in software can greatly effect relations between two countries
Trust the specialists, don't always trust the computers
Test your designs more than you think you need to Impact This decision could have changed the world as we know it
WWIII could have started, and the US could be all rubble now
If this man did not trust his gut, the world would not have been the same today Society needs to trust their engineers
Some mistakes can be very costly, but most can always be avoided
If you have a cool head and a good understanding of your field, you will succeed as an engineer
Full transcript