Now the Air Force's Space fence (Space Fence), a system designed to track space junk, has passed its first test. This is a complex ground radar system. Defense contractor Lockhid Martin said Wednesday that India conducted an anti-satellite test in March aimed at intercepting the Microsat-R satellite. Now the system has detected a fragment from the experiment. It can then determine the orbit of the residue and predict when space junk will cross the space fence again.
Colonel Stephen Purdy, Director of the Space Advantage Systems Council at Los Angeles Air Force Base, said in a press release: "The Indian tests demonstrate the capabilities of the space fence in the real world. The system can quickly respond to highly dynamic situations that provide critical data.
The space fence system, located on the Kujalin Atoll in the Marshall Islands, has not yet become an officially operational system. The test began in early May. Lockhid Martin began studying the space fence system in June 2009.
Space fence systems will help to detect space events before they occur and prevent threats to GPS satellites and the International Space Station.
The Air Force and Lockheed Martin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.