Gemini Instrument Feasibility Studies: FUNDING AVAILABLE

by xzhang ()

Gemini Observatory is pleased to announce the release of the Gemini Instrument Feasibility Studies Request for Proposals (RfP).

Please visit this page for full details.

The Gemini Instrument Feasibilities Studies (GIFS) project is part of a program that will provide a number of community-created science-driven instrumentation design study reports and presentations to the observatory, conforming to a number of desired principles. It is our expectation that these studies will contribute to the selected design for the next new facility instrument for the Gemini telescopes.

STAC Principles: The Science and Technology Advisory Committee identified the following principles for feasibility design study in their 2012B report: (see

  • The instrument should be a workhorse instrument, meaning that it has broad scientific appeal and enables a wide range of science cases.
  • The proposals should be science driven and include science cases. Science cases that provide synergies with new capabilities coming online (e.g. LSST, JWST, ALMA, etc) are highly desirable, especially including capabilities needed to follow up survey discoveries.
  • The instrument should fit within the technical constraints of the Gemini telescopes as they now exist.
  • The expected cost of the instrument shall be capped at a cost that is to be determined as part of the process of defining the RfP.
  • The technical risk of the instrument should be modest, i.e. the success of the instrument should not depend upon some not-yet-proven technology.
  • The instrument should be highly efficient, maintaining the 8-m aperture advantage.
  • Although proposals for all instruments fitting these criteria will be fully considered, it is the majority opinion of the STAC that a wide-bandwidth moderate-resolution spectrograph is likely to prove most compelling.

Gemini intends to award three or more fixed-price GIFS contracts for instrument feasibility studies, with the maximum available budget for each contract limited to USD 100,000. Our total budget for this activity is USD 300,000.

Gemini is looking for science-driven feasibility studies based on a facility instrument costing between USD 8,000,000 and USD 12,000,000 to design, build, test and commission. The preferred duration for such a project is expected to be no more than 6 years.

The RfP is open worldwide, and not restricted to the Gemini community. The Gemini instrument feasibility study can be awarded to profit or non-profit institutions or companies outside of the nations that fund the Gemini Observatory's instrumentation program.

Gemini encourages collaborations and will provide a mechanism for groups to find additional partners to form a complete team for this work. Thus, groups with some interest in GIFS, but lacking the complete expertise needed to complete the work, should still submit a letter of intent and use our system to find additional partners for the work.

RFP Schedule:
RfP Issued: 19th September 2014
Bidders Conference: 31st October 2014
Notice of intent to submit proposal due: 17th November 2014
Proposals due: 15th December 2014 at 23:00 Pacific Standard Time

For full details, please visit this page.

We are looking forward to hearing from you,

The GIFS Project Team