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Space Fence to be shut down on Sept 1st

sublight is back

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"According to two recent memos obtained by SpaceNews, the Air Force will shut down the aging Air Force Space Surveillance System, also known informally as the Space Fence, Sept. 1."

http://www.spacenews.com/article/military-space/36720space-fence-shutdown-expected-to-weaken-orbit-surveillance-network
 

Michel Van

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so the over 40 year old VHF-band fence build by US Navy, is scraped.
but there still Air Force Space Surveillance System that work on S-Band, what got modernizes in 2009 and 2013...
 

sublight is back

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Michel Van said:
so the over 40 year old VHF-band fence build by US Navy, is scraped.
but there still Air Force Space Surveillance System that work on S-Band, what got modernizes in 2009 and 2013...
Where is that one located?
 

Michel Van

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sublight is back said:
Michel Van said:
so the over 40 year old VHF-band fence build by US Navy, is scraped.
but there still Air Force Space Surveillance System that work on S-Band, what got modernizes in 2009 and 2013...
Where is that one located?

I have no idea were the AFSSS S-band system are installed,
maybe on the 33rd parallel north or could also be space based satellites.
there is contradictory Information about this S-band system in the Internet
 

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Lockheed Martin begins tracking objects with its Space Fence test radar

Lockheed Martin has begun tracking objects in space with a scaled-down test version of its Space Fence radar under construction in Kwajalein Island.

The test site at Lockheed Martin's Moorestown, New Jersey facility will be used for early validation of hardware, firmware, and software that will be used to enable Space Fence to detect, track, and catalogue objects.

The goal is to minimise the issues that could occur once Space Fence is up and running on Kwajalein Island, Bruce Schafhauser, Lockheed Martin's programme manager for Space Fence, told IHS Jane's on 30 March.

"It allows us to demonstrate verification of 80% of the system level requirements here in Moorestown," he said. "It is also a training vehicle for the integration and test team."

The integration test bed (ITB) will also be used to support integration and test activities at Kwajalein by helping to replicate and track issues as they arise, Schafhauser added.

Lockheed Martin executed its first track earlier in March. The first object happened to be a NOAA weather satellite, Schafhauser said.

"We operated the system like it will be at the site [in Kwajalein]. In the ITB system we typically set the parameters to track every object we pick up in the fence until we reach the edge of the field of regard," he said.

The first tracking session ran about 30 minutes. During that time, Lockheed Martin engineers tracked about a dozen objects. Although the initial test ran for just a half an hour, Schafhauser said it was more than enough time to confirm the hardware, software, and firmware were successfully integrated.

The test site tracks objects in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is about 1,000 km (621 m) up in the thermosphere. Everything about the ITB is identical to the system that will be installed at Kwajalein, with the exception of the scale of the antenna, Schafhauser said.

"Objects that we are able to track from our surveillance fence to the edge of the field of regard typically last about 25 seconds," he said. "That is the length of the arc, which is a little more than 40 degrees."

If the ITB picks up an object that correlates to an existing object in the catalogue, the object's track will be processed and reported on so that the information can be used to update the existing catalogue. But if an object does not match anything in the catalogue, a new initial orbit determination will be created and used to support adding a new object to the catalogue, Schafhauser said.

"This is the first operation of the end-to-end radar with the end item components. It gives us confidence in the maturity of the design," he added.

The Kwajalein site will have a separate transmit and receive array buildings of which the receive building will be the bigger of the two array buildings. There are also ancillary buildings that will hold the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. The sensor will be run from an operations building which will also contain the services to run the digital processor and the mission processor equipment.

Construction of the facility is close to 45% complete, Schafhauser said.

Space Fence is a modular scalable design that will have 16,000 line replaceable units (LRU).

Schafhauser noted the design of Space Fence lends itself to easy maintenance.

"Basically you keep the radar operating to replace a LRU which is the inherent element that makes this radar work. You can turn off a column on the array and remove and replace an LRU in little over a minute," he said. "It is a graceful degradation system so you would not replace everyone that failed. You let them accumulate and swap them out in one maintenance action."

The program's engineering, manufacturing and development phase and production for site 1 - in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands - remains on track with initial operational capability set for between the end of 2018 and mid-2019, writes Scott Johnson.

The current radar production phase will end in the August-September 2016 time frame. Construction of the Kwajalein radar will run to end of 2016, followed by fielding of the radar components and personnel to integrate and test the radar by the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.

In regard to the second site option in Western Australia, Steve Bruce of Lockheed Martin previously said work would begin about three years after the first site is operational. We assume work to begin no earlier than 2022. The fiscal year 2017 president's budget request states that Increment 2 (contract option) will include completion of the second radar at a location which is to be determined pending negotiations with the proposed host nation.
 

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Overview of the Large Digital Arrays of the Space Fence Radar ~ IEEE 2016

Abstract— Space Fence, currently under construction on Kwajalein Atoll, will revolutionize Space Situational Awareness (SSA) using advanced phased array radar technology in two of the largest phased arrays to ever be constructed. Space Fence will provide catalog completeness, accuracy and timeliness with vastly improved performance in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and capability to support missions in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO). Attaining detection and tracking performance within the large coverage volume necessitated developing advanced technologies including long-pulse high-duty factor Gallium Nitride (GaN) transmit modules, low-cost dual-polarized Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) receivers, and element-level digital beamforming across 86,000 receive elements. These technologies have been matured to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 7 based on end-to-end scaled prototypes. This paper will summarize these technologies, the design choices that led to their selection, and their application to the Space Fence phased arrays.
https://www.scribd.com/document/344632185/SpaceFenceIEEE-Lockheed?secret_password=iwIsi9vCeBoB6Z0xyUR8
 

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A Look Inside Space Fence’s 7,000 Square-Foot Radar Array

May 02, 2017

A million pounds of steel will anchor the radar array, which will allow the Air Force to monitor even subtle course changes for space junk. (Photo Credit: Wyatt Olson, Stars and Stripes)

Currently under construction on the remote island of Kwajalein, Space Fence is a radar system that will help the U.S. Air Force better track space junk. General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies is partnered with Lockheed Martin to build the ground structures for Space Fence, which includes the 7,000 square-foot radar receive array structure.

In an article in Stars and Stripes, Wyatt Olson reported on his experience walking inside the Space Fence radar array structure with Bruce Schafhauser, Lockheed Martin’s program director.

The site is composed of two pressurized radar chambers, one for transmitting into space and the other for receiving those radio frequencies. Roofs covering each chamber are made of thick, electronically transparent Kevlar.

Passing through air locks into the radar chambers is an ear-popping experience. At the chambers’ ground level is a crisscross of a million pounds of anchoring steel.

“What you’re looking at is a steel structure that’s very sturdy to not only maintain alignment of the radar array face, which is at the very top of this, but also because we have seismic requirements that we’re dealing with here,” Schafhauser said during the tour. “That accounts for the size of it all.”

Wide aluminum columns carry coolant, and 50,000 tons of concrete make up the thick foundation and walls.

The General Dynamics-built radar array is designed to withstand earthquakes, hurricane force winds, and extremes in temperature. Once operational, the 700,000 pound steel structure will be sensitive enough to locate and track objects the size of a softball hundreds of miles above the Earth. To read the full article on Space Fence’s construction, visit Stripes.com.
About Space Fence

Space Fence is an advanced ground-based radar system that will enable the Air Force to better monitor over 200,000 objects orbiting the Earth. Space Fence will use a highly sensitive S-band radar to identify and track these objects, which will help prevent satellites and the International Space Station from colliding with debris. To learn more about the Space Fence program, click here.

https://gdmissionsystems.com/Articles/2017/05/02/in-the-news-5-2017-a-look-inside-space-fences-radar-array-structure
 

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Lockheed preparing for June survey at likely site of second Space Fence radar


COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- Space Fence prime contractor Lockheed Martin is preparing to start a site survey in June for the second radar location that would bring the space-observing radar system to full operational capability.

Lockheed's Space Fence Program Manager Bruce Shafhauser told Inside Defense this week the company has begun preparations for the six-week survey, at Naval Station Harold E. Holt in Exmouth, Australia, the likely location of the second Space Fence radar.

The first radar is being built at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and is slated to begin initial operations in mid-2019. Once that system moves through operational testing next year, the service will announce the second site.

Schafhauser noted that one important consideration during the upcoming site survey is the potential for construction challenges, which he said were “the long pole in the tent” at Kwajalein. The program faced some unexpected issues at the site that extended the construction time line and contributed to a delay of IOC from 2017 to 2019.

"That is going to drive the schedule," he said. "We'd prefer to start it earlier rather than wait for [operational testing], but it's not the way our contract is structured."

Although the construction issues at the Kwajalein site were unique to its location, the Exmouth site will likely bring its own challenges, particularly as it is in a remote area of the country, Schafhauser said.

As the program moves through various stability testing and requirements verification for the first radar, the Air Force is already eyeing capability improvements through an upgrade package that will improve Space Fence's ability to see smaller objects at geosynchronous orbit. Lockheed is not yet on contract for the software-only upgrade -- which the Air Force is calling a "warfighter enhancement" -- but funding is included in the fiscal year 2019 budget request via an engineering change proposal.

"Space Fence has inherent capability at geosynchronous orbit," Shafhauser said. "But with this, it's even better."
 

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Despite previous concerns that JMS delays would impact the Space Fence schedule, Crum said the service doesn't expect any delays due to the change. The service has already begun lab testing the interoperability between Space Fence and the legacy systems and will begin operational testing in the next 30 days. The testing is expected to be completed by mid-2019 in support of the Space Fence IOC target.
https://insidedefense.com/inside-air-force/usaf-restructures-jms-after-delays-will-feed-space-fence-data-legacy-system
 
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