- By Wilson P. Dizard III
- Jan 08, 2003
In cold interiors, computer-generated heat can be as welcome as information. One such place is Cheyenne Mountain, run by the Air Force's 21st Space Wing near Colorado Springs, Colo. More than 1,000 workers inside the hollowed-out mountain staff a control center for missile launches worldwide. They use lots of computers.
The facility's rock wall temperature is 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. But bodies, coffeemakers and other machines add so much heat it requires air conditioning.
Since the Air Force built the complex in 1961, the service has been using smaller, faster, cooler computers.
'If the only variable we had to deal with was heat generated by mission computers, conversion to the smaller computers would result in less work for our air conditioning units,' an Air Force spokesman said. But more work and people have offset heat saved by smaller computers.