UH identifies third Mauna Kea telescope for decommissioning - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH identifies third Mauna Kea telescope for decommissioning

UKIRT (Image courtesy: University of Hawaii) UKIRT (Image courtesy: University of Hawaii)
MAUNA KEA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

As part of Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s plan to enhance stewardship of Mauna Kea, the University of Hawaii identified the third observatory that will be decommissioned and removed from the summit.

UH announced on Wednesday that detailed planning for removal of the UKIRT Observatory, formerly known as the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, will take place sometime after the decommissioning processes of two other observatories -- the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory and Hoku Kea telescope -- occur.

Ige’s plan, announced in May, seeks to change the way Mauna Kea is managed as it relates to the Thirty Meter Telescope. Part of it includes decommissioning as many telescopes with at least 25 percent of all telescopes removed by the time TMT is ready for operation.

The decommissioning process starts with developing a site plan that includes an environmental due diligence review, deconstruction and removal plan, site restoration plan and remedial action plan if necessary.

The UKIRT Observatory, built and operated by UK science agencies, began operations in 1979. Ownership was then transferred to UH where it is now operated as a research partnership with the University of Arizona and the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Advanced Technology Center.  

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