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2007B Special CfP - GNIRS Incident

Major Incident with GNIRS

The Observatory is sorry to report a very unfortunate incident involving GNIRS. In late April, at the end of the Gemini South shutdown, a failure of a heater control unit resulted in significant damage to the instrument. GNIRS was being warmed up to do work on the cold heads and, following normal procedures, this warm up was accelerated using built-in heaters. Unfortunately, there was a failure in the control unit that resulted in the heaters failing to shut off when the instrument reached room temperature.

The full extent of the damage is being evaluated as we carefully disassemble the instrument. However, at this point it is clear that GNIRS will be unavailable through the end of 2007B. We will post a status report on GNIRS once the instrument has been fully inspected and the extent of the damage is known. The Observatory is committed to restoring GNIRS to service as soon as is practical.

The loss of GNIRS will have a significant impact on the Gemini South 2007A and 2007B queues, so we are issuing a special Call for Proposals to fill in the time that would normally be used by GNIRS. We sincerely regret the impact this will have on the community and to the excellent science that has been coming from GNIRS.

Special Call for Proposals

In light of the status of GNIRS, the Gemini Observatory is issuing this special Call for Proposals (CfP) and asks its communities to submit scientific investigations for the period covering 1 July, 2007 - 31 January 2008 on Gemini South. Note that proposals are limited to requesting Sky Brightness conditions of 80 percentile or ANY.

The submission deadline is Wednesday May 30th, 2007 at 22:00 UT for all partners. Applications must be submitted using the special version of PIT made available for this special CfP. Proposals must be submitted directly to Gemini by selecting Gemini Staff in the submit tab. All partner backend servers will be shut down so you will receive an error if you attempt to submit your proposal to a partner TAC. Single country proposals must indicate which partner will be charged for the time, and PIs of multiple-partner proposals must include details of how the requested time will be distributed amongst the partner countries. A special TAC will be constituted to evaluate the proposals. Note that there is no pre-allocated amount of time for each partner in this special call for proposals, and approximately 400 hours will be available.

  • May 30th (22:00 UT): deadline for submission of proposals
  • June 19th: Special TAC meets
  • July 6th: deadline for submission of Phase II program (but successful PIs are strongly encouraged to submit their Phase II as soon as possible)

Call for Proposal Details

The purpose of the special CfP is to fill in time that would normally be utilized by GNIRS at Gemini South during the period specified.

Instrument availability: GMOS-S, TReCS, and Phoenix will be available during the period covered by this special CfP. All modes of the above instruments are available.

Recall that Phoenix is an NOAO instrument and has been made available to Gemini by an agreement with NOAO. Phoenix was scheduled to be transferred to SOAR during this current semester. We are very grateful to NOAO and SOAR for making Phoenix available to Gemini during this period.

Observing conditions: Proposals can only request Sky Brightness of 80% or ANY. The full range of conditions is available for Image Quality, Cloud Cover, and Water Vapor. Since GNIRS is normally utilized during bright time we are restricting the call to the Sky Brightness conditions mentioned above.

Special Notes:
  1. Rapid response Target of Opportunity (ToO) programs are not permitted for the special CfP
  2. Phoenix will be available in queue mode
  3. Proposals for classical time are permitted

Please follow the links from the contents bar for more information about observing modes and procedures at Gemini.

Last update 10 May, 2007; D. Crabtree, B. Rodgers & R. Mason