Not much is known of the origins of the Artifacts only that they the Aliens found them on an unknown world and wanted them to protect their world.
The Artifacts have many observable features. They give off a GPS signal, how is unknown. They also give off a strong force field and are very durable themselves. Because of this Force Field, they were of great use when protecting Earth from a Meteor Shower.
The first part of the Second Human Alien War was fought for the purpose of securing the Artifacts on both sides. Both the Alien and Human worlds were in the paths of the Meteor Shower. The Artifacts were discovered by accident. Cpt. Biggs was on a routine expedition when an Alien Ship engaged his Vessel and the Artifacts survived the Battle. They were later extracted and their purpose discovered by scientist (how they discovered their purpose so fast and how they were able to use it is still a mystery). They were placed on Earth by the Humans and Earth was saved.