news AMOS on board of the ALTIUS mission

AMOS signs a contract with OIP for manufacturing the optical modules of the ALTIUS Earth Observation mission.

ALTIUS (Atmospheric Limb Tracker for Investigation of the Upcoming Stratosphere) is a space mission initiated by the Belgian Royal Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) and largely funded by BELSPO, the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office. Its primary objective is the monitoring of the 3D distribution and evolution of stratospheric ozone at high vertical resolution in support of operational services and for long term trend monitoring. The secondary objective is to measure aerosols and greenhouse gases. These measures are essential for atmospheric models that calculate consequences of increasing greenhouse gas emissions or the impacts of political decisions to protect our global environment.

At the heart of the ALTIUS instrument, that will be designed and developed by OIP,  are three spectral imagers designed to observe the Earth atmosphere in various wavelengths. AMOS was contracted by OIP for the manufacture and tests of the optical modules of all three imagers. Those modules are in charge of shaping the incoming light into a beam with the right properties for the instrument detectors. Each optical module is composed of several mirrors positioned with high precision into a dedicated lightweight structure.

Schematic drawing of the ALTIUS instrument (Credits: OIP)

Philippe Gilson, CEO of AMOS, stated: “This contract illustrates the strength of the Belgian space sector, and the capability of our national industry to execute end-to-end Earth Observation projects. QINETIQ Space will be the ALTIUS mission prime ; OIP, a recurrent customer of AMOS, will be the instrument prime ; and AMOS will manufacture and test tens of very high precision mirrors and the optical modules. This will ensure an important workload for 2 years to many workers of our company.”

The ALTIUS mission is part of the ESA Earth Watch Programme, managed by the Earth Observation Programmes (EOP) Directorate. Its overall objective is to secure for Europe an independent sustainable capability in operational Earth Observation.

More information on the ALTIUS mission can be found at :

Integration of a space instrument in the AMOS clean room (Credits: AMOS)

Measurement of space mirrors at AMOS (Credits: AMOS)

Examples of high precision mirrors polished by AMOS (Credits: AMOS)

Published on 27.02.2020
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