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Request for Proposal: Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager

August 7th, 2019

Announcement of Opportunity

All RFP documents and schedule will be added to this page within a month of this announcement.

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), on behalf of the Gemini Observatory, is soliciting competitive proposals to design and build the Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager (GNAOI) for use on the Gemini North Telescope.

GNAOI will be used with both a Gemini North multi-conjugate adaptive optics system (GNAO) now under development and a planned future ground layer adaptive optics system. Gemini expects GNAOI to be a low-cost, low-risk design, using a single HAWAII-4RG detector and intends for GNAO to provide a 2’ field of view with a Strehl ratio of no less than 30% over the entire FoV under median seeing conditions in K band. Because GNAO is in development with a planned Conceptual Design Review in September 2019, the GNAOI team will need to coordinate with Gemini during the project on requirements and interfaces. GNAOI needs to be ready by March 2023 to start post-delivery acceptance testing at Gemini North.

The Gemini Observatory consists of two 8-meter telescopes; the northern observatory is located on Maunakea in Hawaiʻi, USA (Gemini North), the southern observatory is located on Cerro Pachón, Chile (Gemini South). The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. is the managing organization of the Gemini Observatory under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). describes Gemini’s current instrumentation.

AURA is seeking proposals from qualified organizations which are interested in bidding on designing and building GNAOI. Evaluation criteria will include whether a bidder is located in a Gemini partner country.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) documentation for this procurement will be found at: The complete RFP information, should be available on this website on September 6th or earlier. Technical requirements for this imager will be included in the RFP.

AURA will hold an optional Bidders Conference to provide a forum to review the RFP material and encourage potential proposers to ask questions regarding the RFP documentation set. Proposers may attend in person or via video conferencing.

  1. Schedule details for this conference will be available in the RFP documentation.
  2. Attendance at this conference is not required in order to submit a proposal; however, Gemini strongly encourages teams to attend.
  3. Gemini expects the deadline for proposal submittals to be Friday, October 25, 2019 at 3:00 PM MST. Bidder Instructions must be followed carefully, as submissions not prepared to these Instructions may be summarily rejected.

Gemini Observatory Participants