Lockheed Martin won a $107 million follow-up contract to build the next phase of the space fence, a program that will allow the Air Force to more accurately map space debris.

Under the 18-month contract, Lockheed Martin will further develop its ground-based radar system design in preparation for a final space fence production contract next year.

Space fence will replace the existing Air Force space surveillance system, which has been in service since the early 1960s. Smaller micro-satellites and debris can be detected with the new technology.

The technology is made of two or three high-powered, ground-based radars that detect, track, measure and catalogue space objects.

“The proliferation of orbital objects, including rocket debris and satellites, threatens our daily use of space-based technology, satellite broadcasting and medical research,” said John Morse, Lockheed Martin space fence program director. “Our design will provide the Air Force with more time to react to events potentially impacting our space assets and missions – such as collisions with space debris – before they happen.”