Our Islands, Our Future

The 18th Annual Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference (AMOS), held on September 19-22 at the Wailea Beach Resort-Marriott, brought together scientists, engineers and space experts from around the globe. Organized and presented by the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), the conference drew more than 700 participants from 16 countries for one of the top scientific gatherings in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA). With an exciting technical and plenary program and internationally known speakers, the conference looked at the future of SSA, including the nature of the market and balancing commercial innovation with national security and international relations. “The 2017 AMOS Conference served as a beacon to take AMOS into a new era,” said Leslie Wilkins, MEDB President and CEO. “It transformed it into the instrument required to lead the space community towards a more inclusive world.”

On the last day of the conference, MEDB hosted 160 Maui County middle school students in hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities during Student Space Exploration Day. “Each year we see students’ creativity blossom as they solve engineering problems in this fast-paced, high-energy atmosphere,” said Mapu Quitazol, MEDB Program Director. “The event provides our students the opportunity to learn about the different careers and technologies available in the space field. This year, we were especially excited to welcome former astronaut Dr. Janet Kavandi, Director of the NASA Glenn Research Center, who provided a first-hand discussion of living and working in space.”

“Today I learned about the many jobs an astronaut does in space” said Amelle Andrew, Lokelani Intermediate School 8th grader. “In the exhibit and poster session, I enjoyed learning about the huge telescopes on Haleakala that track satellites, and the importance of adaptive optics and imaging to track space debris.”

Lokelani STEM teacher Iokepa Meno exclaimed, “Once again MEDB has brought together scientists, students and the international space community to learn and celebrate everything about space. Mahalo MEDB and AMOS organizers for inviting our next generation of explorers to this amazing conference!”

I learned about the properties of light used to study space objects at the Boeing exhibit and enjoyed meeting all the exhibitors at AMOS.

Amelle Andrew, Lokelani Intermediate School 8th grader