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Request for Proposal: Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager

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Request for Proposal: Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), on behalf of the Gemini Observatory, is soliciting competitive proposals to design and build the Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager (GNAOI) for use on the Gemini North Telescope.

GNAOI will be used with both a Gemini North multi-conjugate adaptive optics system (GNAO) now under development and a planned future ground layer adaptive optics system. Gemini expects GNAOI to be a low-cost, low-risk design, using a single HAWAII-4RG detector and intends for GNAO to provide a 2’ field of view with a Strehl ratio of no less than 30% over the entire FoV under median seeing conditions in K band. Because GNAO is in development with a planned Conceptual Design Review in September 2019, the GNAOI team will need to coordinate with Gemini during the project on requirements and interfaces. GNAOI needs to be ready by March 2024 to start post-delivery acceptance testing at Gemini North.

The Gemini Observatory consists of two 8-meter telescopes; the northern observatory is located on Maunakea in Hawaiʻi, USA (Gemini North), the southern observatory is located on Cerro Pachón, Chile (Gemini South). The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. is the managing organization of the Gemini Observatory under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). describes Gemini’s current instrumentation.

AURA is seeking proposals from qualified organizations which are interested in bidding on designing and building GNAOI. Evaluation criteria will include whether a bidder is located in a Gemini partner country.

On October 4, AURA held a Proposers Conference to provide a forum to review the RFP material and encourage potential proposers to ask questions regarding the RFP documentation set. Details of this conference can be found on the GNAOI Proposers Conference webpage.

Questions and Answers:

All questions and answers received during and after the GNAOI Proposers Conference are listed in the below documents:

GNAOI Proposers Conference Q&As

GNAOI RfP Q&As (last updated 30 October 2019)

RfP Links:

RfP Main Document (Document GNAOI-01)

Instructions to Offerors (Document GNAOI-02)

Contract Main (Document GNAOI-03)

Statement of Work (Document GNAOI-04)

Gemini Specifications and Interfaces for Instruments (ICDs)

Gemini IT and cybersecurity requirements

Gemini data reduction requirements:
    Coding Standards and Guidelines
    Guide to Variance and Data Quality Extensions and to Pixel Data Units
    Software Non-functional Requirements
    Top-level Software Requirements Specification

Email Contacts:

Submit Notice of Intent, questions, and proposal to:

Please note that the subscription service to receive email notifications about GNAOI ( is currently out of service. If you (or colleagues) previously subscribed to this and are not now receiving emails from Gemini, then please let us know via

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