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Future Instruments

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SCORPIO: Spectrograph and Camera for Observation of Rapid Phenomena in the Infrared and Optical

SCORPIO is our next facility-class instrument, designed for follow-up studies of transients in the Rubin Observatory era while carrying out with high efficiency a large variety of astrophysical programs. SCORPIO will be a wide-band medium-resolution spectrograph and imager, observing simultaneously in the grizYJHK bands (385-2350 nm). This powerful facility will be able to exploit the best seeing conditions in Cerro Pachon in imaging and long slit modes, and using frame-transfer CCDs it can monitor variable sources with milli-second time resolution. 

A contract to design, build, and commission the instrument was signed between the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas, and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) in March 2017. The project completed the Critical Design Stage in 2020 and the project is now progressing through the build phase. Commissioning is expected for early 2024.

GHOST: Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph

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. 

GHOST will provide two-object plus sky spectroscopy with full wavelength coverage from ~363 - 950 nm at resolutions from 50,000 to 75,000. The instrument build and delivery phase were completed in 2020 and we are now awaiting for COVID-19 conditions to allow post-delivery integration, testing and on-sky commissioning at Gemini South. Commissioning is expected to happen during the first half of 2022.

IGRINS-2: Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrograph

IGRINS-2 will be a high-resolution near-infrared spectrograph (R ~ 45,000; 1.45 - 2.50 μm), closely based on the original IGRINS (Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrograph). Unlike IGRINS, being used as a visiting instrument at Gemini South, IGRINS-2 will be a full facility instrument when it comes to Gemini North. 

After successfully completing design reviews, the IGRINS-2 project is currently in the build phase led by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) in Daejeon, Korea. We are aiming for commissioning of IGRINS-2 in late 2023 and offering it to the Gemini science community in late 2024. 

GIRMOS: Gemini Infrared Multi-Object Spectrograph

The GIRMOS project is led by the University of Toronto (UofT) Dunlap’s Prof. Suresh Sivanandam, and is being funded through a Canadian Foundation for Innovation award plus contributions from other partners. GIRMOS is intended to provide Gemini with high performance adaptive optics multi-object integral field spectroscopy, with a parallel imaging capability, and will take advantage of the future Gemini North Adaptive Optics facility (GNAO). GIRMOS will be able to observe four objects simultaneously within the GNAO field-of-regard or a single object by tiling the four integral field units. Working in parallel with the spectrographs, GIRMOS’s imager will reach the telescope the diffraction limit in H-band over a 85′′×85′′ imaging field, with just minor vignetting from the spectroscopic pickoffs when they are deployed. Gemini is presently funding the preliminary design study of the GIRMOS imager subsystem, providing in-kind staffing in overall project systems engineering, and other aspects of the project.

GPI 2.0: Gemini Planet Imager 2.0

GPI 2.0 will be the upgraded version of GPI 1.0, an extreme adaptive optics system used at Gemini South 2013-2020. The intended upgrades are designed to improve the sensitivity of the instrument by 2-3 magnitudes compared to GPI 1.0, and contrast by one order of magnitude in the 0.2-1.0" range of separations. In addition, widening the wavelength coverage of single-shot spectra will improve observing efficiency, while the software updates will simplify the observing procedures. Once the upgrades are complete, the instrument will be used at Gemini North. Commissioning is expected to happen in 2024.