This paper discusses the application of fractional Fourier transform (FrFT) to deal with target detection and parameters estimation in radar systems for space debris surveillance. The analytical expressions of the velocity and acceleration are obtained with some simplifications performed at first. Then the radar echo model is built based on the analysis of the motion characteristics. The detection performance of fast Fourier transform (FFT) and FrFT are compared after the expression of the maximum integration time of FFT is derived. Finally, the parameters estimation accuracy of FrFT is analysed. The results indicate that FrFT could achieve considerable enhancement for debris detection with the efficient energy accumulation. It is also shown that the parameters estimation accuracy of FrFT is quite close to CRLB (Cramer-Rao Lower Bounds).