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Future Instrumentation at Gemini

Gemini currently has several instrument projects at various stages of development:




FLAMINGOS-2 – A near-infrared (0.95 – 2.4 microns) imager (6 × 6 arcminute field) and multi-object spectrograph (2 × 6 arcminute field). A special Fabry-Perot tunable filter will be available for narrowband imaging and the instrument will also be compatible with GeMS, the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System. First light occurred at Gemini South in mid-2009; however several problems have led to lengthy delays in commissioning, which is underway again as of July 2013. Find more instrument specifications at:

Flamingos-2 - A commissioning first-light image of the Tarantula Nebula taken in September 2009. This image was obtained using a non-science-grade detector that has since been replaced.


Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) – GPI will use adaptive optics to deliver diffraction-limited images and spectroscopy between 0.9 and 2.4 microns. Two deformable mirrors and coronagraphic masks will provide high contrast to discover and characterize planets around young stars. GPI is currently being built by an international team led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and should be delivered to Gemini South during 2013. For more details see the the Gemini GPI page.

GPI - A simulated planet discovery image as it might appear using the Gemini Planet Imager.


Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph (GRACES) – GRACES will combine the large collecting area of the Gemini North telescope with the high resolving power of the ESPaDOnS spectrograph at CFHT, to deliver high resolution spectroscopy across the optical region.  This will be achieved through a 270 m fiber optics feed from the Gemini North telescope to ESPaDOnS, at CFHT. GRACES will perform R ~ 50,000 echelle spectroscopy between 400 and 1,000 nm, with expected throughput redward of 600 nm exceeding those of currently available high-resolution spectrographs in 8-10 m class telescopes.  A result of a cooperation between CFHT, Gemini, and HIA (who will develop the hardware) GRACES is tentatively scheduled for commissioning in 2014.  A call for SV proposals will be made once commissioning on Gemini is completed.  For more information please visit the ESPaDOnS webpage at CFHT. See GRACES page here.

GRACES - A collaboration between Gemini, CFHT, and HIA, will provide the Gemini community with a high-resolution optical spectrograph at a relatively low cost and hopefully in the very near term.

Gemini High-resolution Optical Spectrograph (GHOS)

Gemini has been negotiating with the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) for the continued design and construction of the Gemini High-resolution Optical Spectroraph (GHOS).  The AAO has, in turn, been negotiating with KiwiStar, a subcontractor working on the GHOS spectrograph.  Late July, the Board of KiwiStar's parent company, Callaghan Innovation, met to review and hopefully approve the final contract so GHOS could get underway.  Instead, however, Callaghan decided not to sign the contract and made KiwiStar's fate uncertain; it is likely to be disbanded or sold.

KiwiStar's loss adds a significant, but surmountable, complication for GHOS. Since Callaghan's announcement, we have been working closely with the AAO, Gemini's Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC), the AURA Oversight Committee for Gemini (AOC-G), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Gemini Board to plan our next step forward with GHOS. We are developing a plan we hope will keep us on track to bringing high-resolution optical spectroscopic capability to Gemini and will announce further updates as they mature.


Gemini is planning a Request for Proposals to build the next new instrument, currently known as "G4#3". Please see the G4#3 blog for updates.

In addition to these instruments, Gemini is currently evaluating several other projects. For example, a feasibility study for a Ground Layer Adaptive Optics (GLAO) system for Gemini North is complete and available, and its corresponding site testing has been completed. The observatory is also considering the next generation of facility instruments.

For more historical documents concerning past instrument development, including the Aspen Process, please see this page