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Our involvement in important national programs dates to the early 1970’s with work supporting major US and international astronomy programs at educational and research institutions.

  • Late 70’s - our filters incorporated in space payloads for such programs as SAGE II, ERBS and others
  • Early 80’s - participated in strategic defense filter R&D projects and filter development for tactical programs currently in third-generation production
  • 1986-1996 - awarded nine Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competitively bid contracts for filter development with win rates double the national average
  • Late 90’s - key player, and perhaps largest independent filter supplier, to the telecom (WDM) device manufacturing market


Materion Precision Optics has delivered high performance filters to the space instrument community since the late 1970’s. We have filters and coatings in well over 100 flight instruments. Some well-known examples include:

  • Hubble Space Telescope - three different imagers (WFP2, ACS & WFC3)
  • Galileo 14 year mission to Jupiter - SSI camera onboard
  • Cameras (WAC & NAC) for the Imaging Science Subsystem on the Cassini Saturn mission, recently extended to 2017 for a total of 20 years in space
  • All post-Viking US Mars missions
  • NASA’s lunar mission (LRO) which recently discovered evidence of water on the moon
  • Last two Landsat satellites carry our filters
  • Developed filters for Earth imaging programs such as GeoEye, OrbView and Digital Globe where imagery is used by government agencies and commercial ventures such as Google Earth
  • Provided filters for key Japanese and European missions


We have provided filters for a very large number of ground-based astronomy instruments. Clients include:

  • Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)
  • Gemini Observatory
  • Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)
  • Keck Observatory (MOSFIRE instrument)
  • National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (Subaru camera)
  • University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (PanStarrs camera)
  • European Southern Observatory (supporting VLT and LaSilla)
  • Nearly all major university astronomy departments and other institutions

Materion: Leadership in Innovation