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Haleakala Space Surveillance Complex project completed

June 21, 2012
The Maui Weekly

The Maui News - A $30 million modernization effort at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex atop Haleakala has been completed.

A group of officials--including Mayor Alan Arakawa, Maui County Councilmember Don Couch and representatives from research companies from the Maui High Performance Computing Center in Kihei--attended a blessing of the modernization project at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex on Wednesday, June 13.

Mayor Arakawa praised the work of the U.S. Air Force and other entities involved in the modernization efforts, noting that it was impressive to see a small community like Maui playing such an important role in the nation's defense and in science. "The scientific community here is tremendous," he said.

One of the tasks of the complex is tracking satellites, from DIRECTV's satellite to space junk, such as debris left behind from old rockets.

In a news release, Boeing Co., one of the companies that took part in the upgrades, said that it took two years to modernize and upgrade the 3.67-meter telescope, known as the Advanced Electro-Optical System. It is the nation's largest optical telescope designed for tracking satellites. The new and improved telescope is ready to provide better imagery and surveillance of objects in near-Earth and deep space orbits, such as satellites, missiles and aircraft.



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