The space fence is a space surveillance system that’ll track satellites and space debris. It’s sensitive enough to track objects as small as marble and can search for objects at higher orbits than previously possible.
The $1.5 billion radar system will track space debris under the control of the USSF, which is responsible for overseeing U.S. operations in space.
As the problem with space debris explodes, this capability is more important than ever.
“Space Fence is revolutionizing the way we view space by providing timely, precise orbital data on objects that threaten both manned and unmanned military and commercial space assets.”USSF Chief of Space Operations and US Space Command Commander General Jay Raymond.
The space fence facility is located on Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands and took almost six years to build after the contract was awarded to Lockheed in 2014.
Members of the 20th Space Control Squadron (SPCS) from Alabama will operate the facility, while the data will be sent to the 18th Space Control Squadron.
Working out of Vandenberg Air Force Base, the 18th Space Control Squadron is responsible for tracking objects and debris in space, among other things.
It detects, identifies, and catalogs all the manmade objects orbiting the Earth.
This information aids in future satellite launches and helps prevent costly collisions between operational satellites and space junk.