Our Work on the Space Fence: Keeping Our Satellites Safe from Space Debris

"Space Junk" can pose a hazard to satellites and other equipment in space.

“Space Junk” can pose a hazard to satellites and other equipment in space.

Our country’s command of rocketry has placed us on the cusp of commercializing space. Already there’s talk in the wings about the viability of thriving commercial space-trade as well as “space tourism”. But there are obstacles to insuring this potential becomes fiscally – and safely – feasible. Our sixty year legacy in space has created millions upon millions of fast-flying pieces of manmade debris orbiting our planet – so called “space junk” – that pose hazards to satellites, observational telescopes, shuttles, and space stations.

While the need to keep track of these pieces of space debris is pressing, it hasn’t been until now that one company – Raytheon – has developed a radar tracking device that keeps close tabs on very small objects closely orbiting the Earth. With its 70 year legacy in building radar systems, it’s no surprise that Raytheon helped provide a cost-effective solution to keeping our weather and communications satellites safe from flying debris. Dubbed the “Space Fence”, the net-based system will be capable of tracking upwards of 750,000 smaller objects with its new X-band radar system: a radar system that Riverside Machine & Engineering has played an essential role in helping bring into being.

Because of our extensive experience in vacuum furnace brazing, we were asked to manufacture custom cold plates that would go directly into the framework of the radar system. We’re proud to be doing our part in keeping the skies friendly for cutting-edge aerospace and global communications systems, making sure they continue to perform their daily (and utterly vital) functions in maintaining modern society.

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