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Future Instrumentation & Current Development
Gemini Instrument Feasibility Studies (GIFS)
The four Gemini Instrument Feasibility Studies (GIFS) concluded a seven-month long study period in October 2015. The GIFS studies were independent, non-competitive studies designed to generate compelling science cases and capability options to help keep Gemini competitive in the 2020s. Please visit the GIFS home page for more information.
Gemini has made the key presentations and the final report for each of the four GIFS studies publicly available. We strongly encourage the community to read the material and send us comments on the science cases and instrument capabilities presented in each report. Each study has its own web page containing its Executive Summary and links to relevant documents. Please visit:
Gemini's next facility instrument is currently labelled Gen 4#3. Using the results of the GIFS studies, Science Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) recommendations, Gemini Board resolutions, and guidance from the Gen 4#3 Steering Committee, the Observatory is currently drafting the Request for Proposals (RfP) for the instrument. For the very latest information, please visit the Gen 4#3 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.