ARL at UH supports the UH Institute for Astronomy (IfA) in conducting operations and management of telescope facilities on Maunakea, located on Hawaiʻi Island, and Haleakalā, located on the island of Maui.
At ~14,000 and ~10,000 feet elevation, respectively, Maunakea and Haleakalā are isolated from the moist marine air by a tropical inversion cloud layer that forms well below the summit. The atmosphere around the summits are extremely dry and free from dust and clouds.
Light pollution around Maunakea is restricted, which in combination with excellent air quality enables superior measurements of radiation from celestial sources, permitting detailed studies that are not possible elsewhere in the world.
Haleakalā, which translates to “House of the Sun” in Hawaiian, was chosen from more than 72 sites to host the world’s largest solar telescope and is home to the Air Force’s largest and most advanced telescope system. ARL at UH facilitates the development of state-of the-art optics and sensors, adaptive optics, and advanced instrumentation for the acquisition and analysis of space observations.