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Opportunity: 2016 Request for Proposals for Instrument Upgrade Projects
RFP Document Set:
Notices of Intent Due Date:
To receive updates and notifications, email:
Proposal Due Date:
Gemini Observatory is committed to upgrading its existing operational instruments to keep them scientifically competitive and to create new instrument capabilities at the observatory. As part of this effort, Gemini annually seeks community-created science-driven proposals to improve our current instruments through our Instrument Upgrade Program (IUP). Gemini’s Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) endorsed the observatory’s guidelines for the IUP in their 2015A report. Facility instrument fact sheets can be downloaded here for Flamingos-2, GMOS-N, GMOS-S,GNIRS, GPI, GSAOI, NIFS, and NIRI.
This Request for Proposals (RFP) welcomes projects for amounts between 0 and the full 600,000 USD budget. Gemini is seeking to fund two projects, but may choose to fund either one or more than two projects depending on the requested funds, the available staff effort, and the perceived benefit of each project.
Contracts can be awarded to profit or non-profit institutions or companies within the nations that fund the Gemini Observatory (regular or limited term partners). The RFP is also open to non-partner country Principal Investigators who have significant and relevant experience in using, designing, and/or building a Gemini instrument.
To encourage a wide variety of participant organizations, Gemini will provide up to one night (10 hours) of observing time per project to be used to realize and demonstrate the scientific potential of the upgraded instrument.
What are the IUP requirements?
IUP projects should produce a tangible result that creates and or enables new science with existing facility instruments and GRACES. The IUP is not meant to fund paper studies or other work that does not provide a real upgrade to our existing capabilities. Software upgrades that add new capabilities or operational improvements are allowed; data processing software proposals are not. All proposed projects must meet our available funding and schedule constraints.
Proposers need to clearly demonstrate the project’s scientific value and relevance to Gemini’s user community. The project should require a minimal level of effort from Gemini staff to develop, implement, and maintain. Gemini will assess the impact of the project and the outcome against the resources needed to support the project. Gemini will assign the relevant resources, pending availability, to assist the team with their work such that the upgrades are successfully achieved.
The project must include readiness testing prior to going on-sky and full characterization of the upgrade afterward. Gemini will only consider proposals for efficient instrument upgrades of minimal to moderate technical risk. The proposal must thoroughly identify and suggest the mitigation of key risks and instrument downtime. The upgraded instrument must comply with the Gemini Interface Control Documents (ICDs).
The schedule for the 2016 RFP release, review, and completed signed contract lasts five months. Gemini intends for awarded work to start on the instrument upgrade projects by April 2017. We expect small projects to be completed within 12 months, and larger ones, within 24 months of the contract execution date.
To receive a notification when the next RFP is released, please provide contact information including an email address to Karen Godzyk (RFPIUP@gemini.edu).