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US Space Fence Getting Closer

US Space Fence Getting Closer December 16, 2019

US Air Forces Space Fence Project is getting an important milestone. The Space Fence facility located on Kwajalein Atoll is getting prepared to function. The radar will provide advanced space situational awareness for the Air Force. The primary mission of ground-based radar is to detect and track tens of thousands of objects in space. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Centre announced Dec. 10 that the radar system had entered a trial period.
The move puts the system one step closer to being officially accepted by the Air Force for regular use.
The locations and higher wave frequency of the new Space Fence radars will permit the detection of much smaller microsatellites and debris than current systems. Located on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, Space Fence will use Gallium Nitride (GaN) powered S-band radar technology to track objects smaller than 10 centimetres in low and medium earth orbit.
With that increased capability, the new system will be able to follow space objects, manoeuvres, launches and more closely.
According to NASA, more than 17.6 million pounds of material are already in orbit, and the number of satellites and debris in space is only expected to grow shortly, increasing the likelihood of collisions that could result in even more debris and increased danger to active satellites.
Lockheed Martin is the primary contractor on Space Fence and was awarded a $914 million contract for the project in 2014.
Early testing has already demonstrated the systems advanced capabilities. During a March experiment, the Space Fence was able to pick up the orbital debris from an Indian anti-satellite test and plot out their next crossing times.
The Air Force anticipates declaring operational acceptance of the new system following the trial period.
 

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US Space Fence Getting Closer

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