New telescope at Maui

Allen Thomson (
Tue, 15 Jul 1997 05:57:14 -0700

   I thought the satellite observers here might be interested in this news
item -- it shows what can be do with just a couple of hundred million
dollars. ;-)

Subject: Air Force unveils Maui telescope (Forwarded)
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 21:03:37 -0400
[Extracted from Air Force Link, USAF.]
Released: Jul 14, 1997

HALEAKALA, MAUI, Hawaii (AFNS) -- It is now possible to see 4-inch objects
approximately 180 miles in space using one of the largest telescopes in the
world and the largest in the Department of Defense. The new telescope was
recently unveiled during an Air Force ceremony atop Mount Haleakaka in Maui,

"Today marks a milestone to go forward to the 21st century," said Gen.
Ronald Fogleman, Air Force chief of staff. "This facility is important for
the nation's security and will aid in concept of space object identification
which is an important step in maintaining space security now and in the

Built by the Air Force Phillips Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.,
the telescope is one of the most sophisticated in the world. Known as the
Advanced Electro-Optical System, it features a 3.67-meter telescope, which
means the primary mirror on the telescope is 3.67 meters across or nearly 13
feet in diameter. The new telescope is more than double the size of the next
largest telescope on the complex -- a 1.6-meter telescope.

The telescope will view and track satellites passing overhead in low orbit.
Air Force Space Command is in charge of the Air Force facilities here, known
as the Maui Space Surveillance Complex.

The $150 million project includes a 41,000-square-foot facility designed by
Hawaiian-based Gima-Yoshimori Architects Inc. Kiewit Pacific Inc. of
Honolulu built the facility which includes seven separate experimental
laboratories and houses the 120-ton telescope. Contraves USA of Pittsburgh,
Pa., built and installed the telescope.