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Status and Availability
Status and Availability
GRACES is offered in the 2016A call for proposals.
GRACES will be offered in blocks of ~10 nights. These blocks will be decided according to ESPaDOnS availability as well as on the R.A. demand. You can have a look at the current Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)'s observing schedule here, but please note that the schedule for each semester is prepared at about the same time as for Gemini. It is therefore impossible to know at the time of a call for proposal when GRACES will be available during the corresponding semester.
Note that ESPaDOnS is schedule for 2-3 runs of ~2 weeks each semester at CFHT. This leaves about 4 months when GRACES can be offered at Gemini each semester. However, only 1.5 of those 4 mothns are going to be in bright time, since most of the ESPaDOnS runs are scheduled during the brightest moon phases. Because the GRACES cassette containing the fiber injectors will be inserted in the same rack which supports the GMOS IFUs, it will not be possible to use both on the same night. Since IFU obsevations usually require lower backgroud, they will have priorities over GRACES during dark time. On the good side, swapping between the IFUs and the GRACES cassette can be done quickly and fairly easily during day time. All that considered, we can estimate that GRACES could be available at the telescope for up to a quarter of each semester.
Aug 31, 2015
GRACES is made available in the 2016A call for proposals.
Aug 6, 2015
GRACES is observing its first queue programs (from the 2015B semester).
Jul 21, 2015
First GRACES night: as a practice before 2015B semester, GRACES observed a series of science targets for a whole night. The data are available HERE.
Jun 4, 2015
GRACES is installed and ready for 2015B semester.
Mar 5, 2015
GRACES is now offered for the 2015B call for proposals.
Jan 12, 2015
A MoU for the use of ESPaDOnS by Gemini is signed between CFHT, Gemini and the CNRS.
Nov 14, 2014
GRACES phase II is approved. The instrument is planned to be offered as a visiting instrument in 2015B.
Jul 21, 2014
GRACES phase I results are presented at the SPIE meeting in Montréal.
May 16, 2014
GRACES phase I is completed! The fibers were installed on 24 Apr (see this Youtube video on the Gemini Observatory Channel). The first tests on-sky started on 30 Apr when light was successfully sent through the fibers from the Gemini mirror to a camera installed into the CFHT dome. GRACES fiber was connected to the ESPaDOnS spectrograph on 5 May, and the first light was achived on 6 May!
Mar 3, 2014
Acceptance tests of all the optical and mechanical parts are currently running (Mar 2014). If GRACES performances in the lab are satisfactory, its commissioning will be performed during (Hawaiian) spring. GRACES availability will be decided once the commissioning is completed.
Feb 10, 2014
FiberTech Optica achieved to make two 270m fibers that meet the requirement of an average 20% focal ration degradation.
Jan 18, 2014
The two 270m science fiber are made, and are in specs with a 20% focal ratio degradation (with the bare fiber polished ends)!
Oct 30, 2013
First major milestone is reached! FiberTech Optica achieved to make a 200m test fiber which has a focal ratio degradation of 15%! We have demonstrated that very long fibers for astronomical use are possible to make.