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Announcement of Opportunity:
Seeking a vendor to provide advanced CCDs for high-speed adaptive optic wavefront sensing application

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), acting as the operator of the Gemini Observatory, is seeking a vendor to provide advanced CCDs for high-speed adaptive optic wavefront sensing applications.

The work is anticipated to take approximately 24 months, and will include delivery of mechanical samples, engineering grade detectors, and science grade detectors. The nominal specifications include a 256x256 pixel format, on-chipping binning, on-chip reference pixels, coated for optimal sensitivity from ~0.75 – 0.85 µm, frame rates up to 1500 fps at ~5 electrons read noise, up to 16 outputs, and a Peltier cooled package.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) will be releasing a parallel procurement for identical CCDs. AURA and ESO intend to award separate contracts to a single vendor to provide identical CCDs to both organizations on substantially similar terms.

The full requirements for this procurement, and instructions for submitting a proposal, will be given in a Request for Proposal to be released in the near future. Firms that are interested in receiving this Request for Proposal and the ESO RFP should email a letter of interest to Andrew Flach at by 30 July 2004. This letter of interest should reference RFP No. N241113 in the subject line and give the name, address, email address, phone number, and fax number of a contact person at your firm. All letters of interest will be acknowledged, so please contact Andrew Flach at 520-318-8410 if no acknowledgment is received within 2 business days after the letter of interest is submitted.

Background Information on Gemini Observatory

The Gemini Observatory is an international collaboration that has built two identical 8-meter telescopes. The Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope is located on Mauna Kea, Hawai`i (Gemini North) and the Gemini South telescope is located on Cerro Pachón in central Chile (Gemini South), and hence provide full coverage of both hemispheres of the sky. Both telescopes incorporate new technologies that allow large, relatively thin mirrors under active control to collect and focus both optical and infrared radiation from space.

The Gemini Observatory provides the astronomical communities in each partner country with state-of-the-art astronomical facilities that allocate observing time in proportion to each country's contribution. In addition to financial support, each country also contributes significant scientific and technical resources. The national research agencies that form the Gemini partnership include: the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), the Canadian National Research Council (NRC), the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación Cientifica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Argentinean Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and the Brazilian Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). The Observatory is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the NSF. The NSF also serves as the executive agency for the international partnership.