Developing Advanced Technologies for Space Control and Defense Research
AMOS combines small-, medium-, and large-aperture tracking optics, including the nation's largest optical telescope designed for tracking satellites and missiles, with visible and infrared sensors to collect data on near-Earth and deep-space objects. The MHPCC computers are used to process and translate the data into SSA information.
Research thrusts at the AMOS site include satellite detection and identification, atmospheric compensation and resolved imaging, astrodynamics and orbital metrics, missile operations, sensor development, laser propagation through the Earth's atmosphere, data base cataloging of satellite images, and high-performance computer modeling and simulation. In addition to its use as an R&D facility, AMOS has been called upon to help identify and/or track spacecraft payloads, communication satellites, orbital debris, missile trajectories, explosive wastes, and near-Earth asteroids.
Under the command of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Detachment 15, AMOS serves as the host unit for all Air Force resources on Maui. The AMOS workforce consists of ~40 government personnel, ~120 contractors supporting the Maui Space Surveillance System (Boeing LTS), and ~70 contractors supporting the MHPCC (University of Hawaii).
Maui Space Surveillance System (MSSS)
As a state-of-the-art electro-optical facility, the MSSS combines research and development with an operational mission; the only one of its kind in the world. The location at 10,000 feet above sea level and Maui's stable climate with minimal scattered surface light provide excellent viewing conditions most days of the year. MSSS uses its visible and infrared sensors, adaptive optics, and telescopes to collect imaging and signature data on near-Earth and deep-space objects. Air Force Research Laboratory scientists, engineers, and technicians analyze this data and disseminate imaging and signature products in support of SSA current needs in addition to researching methods for improving the quality and timeliness of its SSA products.
The 3.6-meter, 75-ton Advanced Electro-Optical System telescope is the largest telescope in the Department of Defense. Other equipment at MSSS includes a 1.6-meter telescope, two 1.2-meter telescopes on a common mount, a 0.8-meter beam director/tracker, a 0.6-meter laser beam director, and a 0.4-meter AFRL-developed Raven telescope.
Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC)
MHPCC is one of the High Performance Computing Modernization Program's six Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Centers (DSRCs), and it houses one of the most powerful computer systems in the department. MHPCC offers a large-scale parallel computing platform with terabytes of high-performance disk arrays, near-line tape archival storage, and a high-speed communications infrastructure that connects directly to the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN). Chartered to sustain a broad base of users in DoD and government communities, MHPCC provides more than 38-million hours of computing time per year.
AMOS partners with a number of organizations including the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy, Maui Community College, the National Science Foundation, the Center for Adaptive Optics, Maui Economic Development Board, and local high-tech organizations. In addition to the goodwill, AMOS outreach intends to encourage educational paths that will eventually lead to employment at AMOS and local high-tech organizations.
Since 1980, numerous studies have been undertaken at Haleakala Observatories in the interest of environmental, cultural, historic, and economic resources, as well as to mitigate the potential impacts to those resources. AMOS observes environmental conservation programs that include protection of the silversword plant and the Hawaiian Nene, or Goose, which are on the Federal List of Endangered Species and can be found atop Haleakala.