Sunday, February 9, 2020

DISCLOSURE: Space Force Ready to Activate their 'Space Fence' Technology for the "First Time"

Source: Popular Mechanics

Published: February 7, 2020

By: Kyle Mizokami

  • The U.S. Space Force is finally ready to turn on its new Space Fence, a ground-based radar built to detect small objects orbiting the Earth.
  • The fence is a vast improvement over the old one, with a much greater range.
  • The data collected by the Space Fence can help prevent collisions and monitor the satellites of adversaries.

The U.S. Space Force will turn on a new and improved radar system as early as this month that's designed to track small objects in space. The “Space Fence” is built on a remote island in the South Pacific and will allow the military to keep an eye on thousands of objects orbiting the Earth, up to 22,000 miles from the surface of the planet.

The Space Fence, located on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, will also help the military monitor space junk, keep track of enemy satellites, and help prevent satellites from colliding with one another. NASA estimates that up to a half million such objects with a diameter between 0.4 and four inches are circling the Earth, at a speed of 22,000 miles an hour. Any man-made spacecraft entering orbit with these objects, particularly manned spacecraft or space stations, risks a catastrophic accident.

A previous version of the Space Fence, shut down in 2013 due to budget cuts, could only track items in low-Earth orbit. The new Space Fence is designed to detect objects as small as four inches from low-Earth orbit (roughly 99 to 1,200 miles) but also medium-Earth orbit (1,200 to 22,000 miles) and geosynchronous orbit (22,000 miles and beyond).

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The new fence will also track more objects. The old fence could track up to 2,000 objects in orbit, while the new Space Fence, as Popular Mechanics wrote in 2018, is "expected to detect five to ten times more.” This will allow the Space Force to anticipate collisions between satellites or between satellites and space junk, allowing satellite operators to adjust to a safer orbit if possible.

A closer look at the Space Fence facility located on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.

It can also track the satellites of countries such as Russia and China, predicting when their satellites will be over the United States and U.S. forces abroad.

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