The United States Air Force Space Command is currently working together with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, using the organization's Allan Telescope Array radio observatory to keep track of space junk in Earth's orbits.
Space debris is beginning to become a real problem for mission controllers seeking to launch new satellites or space probes. There are currently hundreds of thousands of pieces of debris scattered over a large number of orbits, and only the larger of them can be tracked.
Usually, ATA listens for signals that may have been produced by alien civilizations that may be trying to contact us. Now, its sensitivity will be used by the USAF to monitor things closer to home, Space
“Because we have planetary systems across the sky, we can effectively share the ATA with the Space Situational Awareness mission,” SETI Institute's Center for SETI Research Director, Jill Tarter, comments.