Amptek was founded in 1977 by Alan C. Huber and John A. Pantazis to fulfill the needs of space instrumentation for off-the-shelf, high performance, high reliability, small size and low power dissipation instruments and components. Shortly thereafter, Amptek hybrid preamplifiers became the standard for the space industry as they were used worldwide by instrument makers in both Earth satellites and deep space probes. In 1986 Amptek expanded to designing and manufacturing full satellite instruments. Numerous plasma analyzers, electron and ion detectors, and radiation monitors have been developed by Amptek and flown in both military, research, and commercial spacecraft. Amptek designed and built 42 complete space instruments.
Amptek applied its experience and knowledge of high performance space instruments to developing commercial radiation detectors and electronics in the 1990’s. In 1994 it received the R&D 100 award for the XR-100 X-Ray detector as one of the years most technologically significant products. The XR-100 opened new markets as the technology was both cost effective and portable. In 1996 it was selected for the Mars Pathfinder Mission and landed on Mars on July 4th, 1997. By 2003 the XR-100 was the standard in the industry. It is now the foundation for the most widely used X-Ray detectors for XRF in the world.
On August 4, 2014, Amptek was acquired by AMETEK, Inc. where it is now a unit of the Materials Analysis Division.