Caltech Submillimeter Observatory Decommissioning

Beginning observations in 1985 of the submillimeter wavelengths of space, The Caltech Submillimeter (CSO) ceased operations in 2015 in preparation for its removal atop the summit of Maunakea in Hawaii.  Sitting within a conservation district, the decommissioning of the CSO required extensive environmental assessment for vacating the site and understanding its removal impacts on existing archaeological, cultural, and biological conditions.  The decommissioning effort includes full removal of all structures above and below ground as well as final grading and habitat restoration to restore the site to pre-development conditions.

Final completion of the decommissioning is scheduled for 2023.  Though the observatory will be gone, the telescope itself is being removed and shipped to the high desert of Chile for further scientific research.