US military’s ‘Space Fence’ radar system designed to track satellites in orbit up to 22,000 miles away could be activated THIS MONTH
- The Space Force is the recently launched sixth branch of the US armed forces
- Its radar system ‘space fence’ will detect objects in orbit as small as four inches
- Designed to prevent collisions in orbit and to track movement of satellites
- Exact launch date is unknown but it could be activated as early as this month
Donald Trump‘s Space Force is preparing to activate its powerful ‘Space Fence’ radar system that spots and tracks objects orbiting Earth.
The pioneering system, located on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, will detect objects in orbit as small as four inches wide that are up to 22,000 miles away.
The Lockhead Martin system is expected to be operational by the spring, but no exact date has yet been announced, although it could be as early as this month, according to reports.
Space Fence will allow the US government to track thousands of objects in low and middle orbit as well as satellites in a geosynchronous orbit.
President Trump unveiled the new logo for the Space Force (pictured) in January. The Lockhead Martin system is expected to be operational by the spring, but no exact date has yet been announced, although it could be as early as this month, according to reports
The pioneering Space Fence system, based on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, will detect objects in orbit as small as four inches wide up to 22,000 miles from the surface
The Space Force is the sixth branch of the US armed forces built to work alongside the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Its Space Fence is a reboot of a initiative which was shut down in 2013 due to budget cuts.
The original version was only able to track items in low-Earth orbit, but the new iteration is vastly superior.
It works by sending out a fine beam into space, and if an object of sufficient size – around four inches wide – crosses though this beam, it triggers an alert.
It is hoped it will allow the military branch to avoid any collisions between satellites and prevent any crashes between debris and expensive spacecrafts.
‘Back in the (early) 60s they didn’t have a space debris problem,’ says Steve Bruce, vice president of advanced systems at Lockheed Martin.
‘They just wanted to figure out if something was flying over the continental US.
‘Our system has the ability to be steered electronically. We track (the object) and immediately create an orbit determination.’
The system is also believed to be able to track the movements of other nations’ satellites, including Russia and China.
The US Space Force tweeted out this image of a uniform bearing its new official badge in January. US president Donald Trump signed the massive $738billion Defense bill in December 2019 which officially set the ball rolling to establish the Space Force
It will therefore be able to predict when they will be over US land or serving troops abroad.
US president Donald Trump signed the massive $738billion Defense bill in December 2019 which officially set the ball rolling to establish the Space Force.
‘With my signature today you will witness the birth of the Space Force,’ he said. ‘And that will be now officially the sixth branch of the United States armed forces.’
He signed the legislation at Joint Base Andrews – which he dubbed ‘America’s Airfield’ as it houses Air Force One – before he departed to Mar-a-Lago for the Christmas holiday.
The official logo and uniform was revealed in January.
WHAT IS DONALD TRUMP’S ‘SPACE FORCE’?
US President Donald Trump announced plans for a service branch aimed at ensuring American dominance in space in June 2018.
Trump pleaded to revive the country’s flagging efforts in space, return to the moon and eventually send a manned mission that would reach Mars.
The president framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want ‘China and Russia and other countries leading us’.
His directive will task the Defense Department to begin the process of establishing the Space Force as the sixth branch of the US armed forces.
‘When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,’ Trump said.
He added: ‘We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal. It is going to be something. So important’
In December 2019, US president Donald Trump signed the massive $738billion Defense bill iwhich officially set the ball rolling to establish the Space Force.
Its official badge and uniform was revealed in January 2020.