College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona
1630 E University Blvd., Tucson, Arizona 85721
Don Loomis is a Senior Master Optician with 50 years of experience in the field of optical sciences. He has manufactured some of the world’s largest stellar optics and is recognized throughout the industry as an expert in the manufacture of small, prototype optical systems. His career began in 1957 at Mt. Wilson and Palomar observatories before he moved to Tucson to start manufacturing stellar optics. There, he was behind the manufacture of the 84 inch Kitt Peak mirror, the 72 inch Parkings mirror at Lowell Observatory, and the 60 inch KPNO mirror in Chile.
In 1966, he was hired by Dr. A. Meinel to set up the optical shop for the Optical Sciences center at the University of Arizona. Before branching off to form his own business, Custom Optics, in 1974, Mr. Loomis manufactured the 90 inch Steward Observatory mirror and the 100 inch Dupont mirror in Chile.
At Custom Optics, Mr. Loomis created many semi solid Schmidt cameras and fold Schmidt systems. He also specializes in aspheric optics up to 38 inches in diameter. At Custom Optics, he was a consultant for Kulper Airborne Observatory, the Institute of Astronomical Physics, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, CalTech, and many more.