Successful Shutdown at Gemini Northby xzhang ( )
The Gemini North telescope completed a successful maintenance shutdown that began on January 22. As of Saturday night (2/2/13), the telescope is back on the sky and executing semester 2013A science programs. During the shutdown many key systems underwent maintenance and/or upgrades with the most significant work focusing on the acquisition and guiding (A&G) system and the installation of sensors to help measure vibrations and further improve high-resolution adaptive optics imaging. Also, safety mechanisms were added to the A&G and to the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph, to prevent known mechanical failure modes.
Note: This shutdown originally included a planned recoating of the Gemini North primary mirror but a frozen/ruptured coolant water-line inside the Coating Chamber required rescheduling this until later in 2013.