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Technical Tours



Date: Friday, June 26, 2022

Maximum Capacity: 80


Hosted by the University of Hawaii’s Astronomy Center, you will have the opportunity to explore observatories managed by the University and the U.S. Air Force. The Haleakala High Altitude Observatories on the Island of Maui is the site of Hawaii’s first astronomical research. Haleakala is above one third of the earth’s atmosphere. "Seeing" conditions on Haleakala can be as good as on Mauna Kea, a site recognized to have the best astronomical conditions for ground-based observatories. 

The first part of the tour begins at the new Maikalani Advanced Technology Research Center (ATRC) in Pukalani. The building serves as the main facility for the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy (IFA) on Maui and home to the worlds most renowned Astro Physicists, Astronomers, and Optics/Electronics Engineers. The building includes laboratory workspace for microfabrication and advanced metrology and optical/infrared sensor development. It is strategically located approximately halfway between the Maui Research and Technology Park and the summit of Haleakala.

The ATRC’s provisions for optical testing with day or nighttime astronomical sources make this an ideal facility for remote sensing instrument development. With its high-bandwidth digital link to the summit and the Maui Research and Technology Park, the ATRC is a significant addition to the technology infrastructure of Maui and the state of Hawaii.

The next portion of the tour provides a rare opportunity to take a guided tour of the University of Hawaii Observatories and the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing (AMOS) site and MSSS. You will depart for the one hour drive to the summit of Haleakala (“House of the Sun”). This scenic drive will take you from sea level to 10,000 feet elevation through the serene Upcountry districts of Maui.

Your experience on Haleakala summit includes tours of the SOLAR-C facility, the Mees Observatory, PAN-STARRS PS 1 and/or PS 2, LCO Faulkes Observatory, and the Maui Space Surveillance System (MSSS) which is a state-of-the-art electro-optical facility combining operational satellite tracking facilities with a research and development facility, the only one of its kind in the world. The MSSS houses the largest telescope in the Department of Defense, the 3.67-meter Advanced Electro Optical System (AEOS), as well as several other telescopes ranging from 0.4 to 1.6 meters. The tour includes guides from the Institute for Astronomy (IFA), motor coach transportation, and a box lunch.   

Tour Guidelines and Medical Restrictions:
The summit of Haleakala is not without medical risks if you are susceptible to altitude sickness (Hypoxia). Also, those with heart and lung conditions must be aware of altitude, weather, and air changes. A Tour Cultural and Safety Briefing document will be e-mailed to those who register for the tour. Please note that the weather at the summit is unpredictable and can be dramatically cooler. A light sweater or jacket and light rain gear and sunglasses are suggested, and closed-toe shoes are required.


There is a reason why Maui is nicknamed “The Magic Isle.” The second largest Hawaiian island has a smaller population than you would expect, making Maui popular with visitors who are looking for exciting activities and amenities in the small, intimate towns peppered throughout the island. Maui’s unique vistas also make it a much anticipated destination. From beaches that have repeatedly been voted among the best in the world to the scenic heights of Haleakala Crater, a visit to “The Magic Isle” recharges the senses. But you will just have to see it for yourself to believe it. Maui has many historical places of interest that should not be missed; from ancient myths to its booming whaling era. Maui’s rich history will add a fascinating new dimension to your visit. Anytime of year is a good time to visit Maui. The average temperature is between 75°-85° F. Summer, between April and November, is warmer and drier. Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round.


Tour participants are required to make their own travel arrangement from Oahu to Maui and from Maui to their return destinations. Kahului Airport (OGG) is the island’s main airport. Many airlines fly direct to Maui while others include Maui as a stopover. There are a wide range of accommodations on Maui, including resorts, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and rentals. Hotels and resorts in close proximity to Haleakala are in Kihei and Wailea in South Maui. Upon registration, tour attendees will receive a list of hotels convenient to the location of this tour to help you make your reservations. We have also included recommended lodging options below.

TOUR COST: $110.00

HOTELS:      *Marriott Wailea Beach Resort
                     $160.00 per night + 11.41% tax daily

                     Maui Coast Hotel
                     $155.00 per night + 11.41% tax daily 

*The Marriott Wailea Beach Resort is the recommended lodging for this tour because of their reasonable rates, parking availability, and access to beautiful area beaches, excellent restaurants and shopping. Check-in is after 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, 2009, and check-out will be in the morning before departing on the tour. For those staying at the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort for one night, the hotel will hold luggage until your return from the tour. Luggage cannot be stored in the tour’s motor coach transportation.

Deadline to register/pay: May 22, 2022


Thursday, June 25, 2022
Late afternoon/early evening arrival at Kahului Airport (participants on own for travel arrangements)

Friday, June 26, 2022
Group A: (Maximum capacity 40)
9:00 a.m.        Bus departs Marriott Wailea Beach Resort for ATRC
9:45 a.m.        Tour of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy (IFA)                 10:45 a.m.      Bus departs for Haleakala Observatories
11:45 a.m.      Tour of Observatories
3:15 p.m.        Bus returns to Marriott Wailea Beach Resort

Group B: (Maximum capacity 40)
10:30 a.m.      Bus departs Marriott Wailea Beach Resort for ATRC
11:15 a.m.      Tour of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy (IFA)
12:15 p.m.      Bus departs for Haleakala Observatories
1:15 p.m.        Tour of Observatories
4:45 p.m.        Bus returns to Marriott Wailea Beach Resort

to register for this tour please click Here.