Radar system to boost space situational awareness

Lockheed Martin has developed a prototype of a new radar system designed to track orbiting space objects and boost space situational awareness, company officials said March 8.

The Space Fence uses powerful, ground-based radars to enhance the way the U.S. military detects, tracks, measures and catalogs orbiting objects and space debris in a way that is more accurate and timely than existing systems. The first of several Space Fence sites is scheduled to be operational by 2017, the story said.

More than 60 nations now operate spacecraft, and this means hundreds of thousands of objects are orbiting the earth. A collision between debris and working space systems must be avoided to prevent the interruption of Global Positioning System technology and assets belonging to other critical industries and technologies, such as banking and telecommunications, the story said.

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