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Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) is an asset of the US Air Force Materiel Command's Phillips Laboratory. It is located at the summit of Haleakala, on the island of Maui, in the state of Hawaii. It is part of the Maui Space Surveillance Site (MSSS), which also includes the Maui Optical Tracking and Identification Facility (MOTIF) and a Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) site, operated by US Air Force Space Command.

Description (U):

(U) AMOS is a state-of-the-art electro-optical facility located at an elevation of 3000 meters and a latitude of 20.7 degrees north. This site is characterized by a relatively stable climate of clear, dry air, with low levels of particulants and minimal light pollution. The site is the only one of its kind in the world, combining operational satellite tracking facilities (MOTIF and GEODSS) with a research and development facility (AMOS). Not only does AMOS routinely support a wide variety of observing programs, but has the capability of projecting lasers into the atmosphere, which is rare at astronomical sites.

(U) The mission of AMOS is to conduct research and development of new and evolving electro-optical sensors, as well as to provide support for operational missions defined by US and AF Space Command. In addition, AMOS provides experiment support to a wide variety of military and civilian organizations in diverse fields. This support has included the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and many universities. AMOS has hosted and supported a wide variety of visiting experiments.

(U) Typical AMOS visiting experiments include:
-support for tactical and strategic missile launches out of both Vandenberg and Kauai
-detection and tracking of orbital debris
-observations of shuttle and satellite special operations
-laser illumination of satellites
-atmospheric physics
-space sciences and astronomy
-the Short Wavelength Adaptive Technology (SWAT), a long term experiment funded by SDIO and requiring the construction of additional facilities at the observatory
-the Relay Mirror Experiment (RME), funded by SDIO and managed by Phillips Laboratory, operated in Maui, utilized existing AMOS assets as well as requiring the construction of additional facilities at the observatory as well as a satellite control and laser propagation facility at sea level near the town of Kihei. Phillips Laboratory received the SPIE Technology Achievement Award for 1991 for the dramatic success of RME.

(U) AMOS telescopes include a 1.6 meter telescope, an 80 centimeter Beam/Director Tracker, and a 60 centimeter Laser Beam Director. A major upgrade to AMOS will be the Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS), a 3.67 meter telescope scheduled for first light in 1997. AEOS will have seven coude' rooms for various experiments, as well as conventional Cassegrain positions located on the mount itself. The new AEOS will also incorporate an adaptive optics system for atmospheric turbulence compensation. Under development is the AMOS Daytime Optical Near Infrared Imaging System (ADONIS), capable of extending the AMOS imaging capabilities to 24 hours per day. These adaptive optics systems allow AMOS to take photographs of orbiting satellites with outstanding clarity, in spite of the severe problems of dealing with atmospheric turbulence.

User Impact (U):

(U) Loss of this site would significantly reduce satellite imaging, tracking and IR Signature characterization.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Operational.

(U) Organizations and Funding:
  • (U) AFSPC: Funding Source.

Images (U):

AMOSAir Force Maui Optical Tracking Station
Snow Covered AMOSA Snow Covered Air Force Maui Optical Tracking Station
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Initiatives (U):
AEOSAdvanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS)
MOTIFMaui Optical Tracking & Identification Facility (MOTIF)
MSSSMaui Space Surveillance System (MSSS)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Contibuting SensorsContibuting Sensors
Electro-OpticalElectro-Optical Shared Sensors
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

1997 Space Surveillance Dev Plan
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 17 September 1998

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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