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Future Instrumentation & Current Development
With great pleasure we proudly announce OCTOCAM as our next facility-class instrument. OCTOCAM will be a wide-band medium-resolution spectrograph and imager. This powerful facility will be designed to support a wide range of science and to take advantage of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope follow-up opportunities.
A contract to design, build, and commission the instrument was signed between the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas, and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) in March 2017. Work began immediately thereafter on the Conceptual Design Stage, with Pete Roming (SwRI) as the Project Manager and Antonio de Ugarte Postigo (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, of the Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IAA-CSIC) as the Principal Investigator. A "Kickoff" meeting will be held on April 19th at IAA-CSIC in Granada Spain. Read more at the OCTOCAM home page.
Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST)
Gemini has contracted with the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) for the continued design and construction of the Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST). The AAO has, in turn, subcontracted the National Research Council Herzberg (NRC-H) for the construction of the spectrograph and The Australian National University (ANU) for instrument software.
The project held a partial Critical Design Review in December 2014, and the ∆CDR is planned in early March 2016. We anticipate the instrument being commissioned in 2018. GHOST will provide two-object plus sky spectroscopy with full wavelength coverage from ~363 - 950 nm at resolutions from 50,000 to 75,000.
NGS2 is a project to improve the sky coverage of GeMS by upgrading the current natural guide star sensor. The Natural Guide Star (NGS) Next Generation Sensor (NGS2) team, led by the Australian National University (ANU) held its design review at Mt. Stromlo, Australia from 24 to 27 March 2015. Overall, the review was successful and we have a high degree of confidence that the project will meet the science goals of a 1.5 magnitude boost in sensitivity compared to the current NGS in GeMS. This sensitivity increase will approximately triple sky coverage for GeMS while the NGS2 unit itself is also designed to make the overall system easier to support. We are aiming for installation in 2016.
For more historical documents concerning past instrument development, including the Aspen Process, please see this page.