M. Mountain, F. Gillett, R. Kurz
Gemini 8m Telescopes Project, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson AZ 85719
Construction of the Gemini Telescopes is underway. The first mirror blank has been completed, the concrete piers on both Mauna Kea and Cerro Pachon have been poured, the fabrication of the telescope structures has started and the erection of the first enclosure on Mauna Kea has begun. In this paper, we give a progress report on the Gemini 8-M Telescopes Project. In addition, we review recent analysis of the telescope performance, showing that at infrared wavelengths, the imaging and emissivity performance of the telescopes will be dominated by the physics of the atmosphere. As the scientific performance of these telescopes will be so dependent on atmospheric conditions, Gemini will be allocating at least 50% of its observing time to "Queue Scheduled Observing". The implications of adopting this novel observing mode on the design of the control system and on the telescope operations model will be briefly discussed.
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