AMOS was established in December 1983 by Bill Collin – at that time CEO of ‘Ateliers de la Meuse’, a company active in the heavy engineering field – to develop optomechanical systems for use in professional astronomy and in the space industry.
The company, which specialised initially in the development of space simulators, produced all the simulators for the Liege Space Centre and for companies like Spacebel Instrumentation and Thales Alenia Space ETCA, also for the European Space Agency and, more recently, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
At the same time, AMOS upgraded its optical production facilities – grinding and polishing systems and an ion beam facility – and commenced the processing of optical surfaces, essentially mirrors, for use in the professional astronomy field.
At the turn of the millennium the company undertook a series of studies for the European Southern Observatory (ESO), resulting in the development of viewing monitors and, subsequently, the Auxiliary Telescope System for the Cerro Paranal Interferometer. The mirrors for these projects were developed on the AMOS site, using enhanced polishing facilities to reach capacities of up to 3 m diameter.
Simultaneous with this, AMOS produced Mechanical Ground Support Equipment (MGSE) and Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSE) for the European Space Agency and for the prime contractors involved in ESA missions. During this period, the company also produced multiple derotators for the 8 m telescopes of the Gemini Observatory on Cerro Paranal and for the Gran Telescopio Canarias in the Canary Islands.
To cope with the growing demand for very high-precision projects AMOS subsequently established a subsidiary, Nanoshape, equipped with high-precision diamond turning machines. Nanoshape was integrated into AMOS in 2008.
In 2010, the company launched Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems Inc at College Station, Texas, in association with Texas A&M University.
AMOS’ wide range of activities in the period 2007-2011 featured the following projects in particular:
• development of the Multi-Application Solar Telescope (MAST) for the Udaipur Solar Observatory in India,
• interferometric telescopes for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, Socorro County, New Mexico, USA,
• a 3.6 m astronomical telescope for the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Nainital, India,
• a wide-field 2.5 m telescope for the Astrophysical Observatory, Javalambre, Aragon, Spain,
• a wide-field telescope for Pan Starrs, Hawaii, USA.
In addition to producing telescopes, AMOS has polished a series of mirrors for the GAIA and Sentinel 2 space missions and produced high-precision diamond-turned components for a range of clients.
ON FOCUS - Diamond TurningAdvanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (AMOS) manufactures small optical pieces by diamond turning mainly for infrared applications but also, after post polishing, for visible or ultraviolet. Concave or convex mirrors up to 500mm can be machined with extreme asphericities....