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Request for Proposal: Gemini North Adaptive Optics Real Time Controller

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The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), on behalf of the Gemini Observatory, is soliciting Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Real Time Controller (RTC) in support of the Gemini North Adaptive Optics facility (GNAO), a multi-conjugate adaptive optics system.


The multi-faceted Gemini in the Era of Multi - Messenger Astronomy GEMMA program is designed to upgrade Gemini’s instrumentation and operations in order to deliver essential capabilities for forefront astronomical research in the areas of high spatial resolution and rapid-response astronomy.

The major hardware deliverable to be provided by GEMMA will be a state-of-the-art multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) facility, a key technology for the era of extremely large telescopes (ELT) to be deployed at Gemini North; referred to as GNAO. As part of the GNAO project, Gemini will deliver an advanced, flexible Real Time Controller (RTC) component for use with the AO system. The RTC is the brains behind the complex MCAO correction.

Funding for the construction of the RTC is being provided by the National Science Foundation. 

AURA is seeking proposals from qualified firms who are interested in responding to the above effort. All documentation relating to this solicitation are available for download at the AURA Central Administrative Services website. Proposals must be received by 3:00 P.M. MST on Monday, December 2nd, 2019.

Parties not following the “Instructions to Proposers” or submitting incomplete packages may have their proposals summarily rejected.

Proposer’s Conference

A Proposer’s Conference will be held at 1:00 P.M. MST on Wednesday November 13th, 2019. The conference will be held by video conference. Connection details are posted on the AURA Central Administrative Services website.

Contractors should notify the AURA Contracts Officer at (or call 1-808-974-2506) prior to the meeting date, to provide confirmation of their attendance.

Point of Contact Information

Please direct all questions or requests for clarification of this proposal to the Contracts Officer at and cc: ; Proposals should also be submitted to the contacts previously listed.

Questions and Answers

All Questions and Answers will be posted to the AURA Central Administrative Services Website. The Q&A document will be updated as questions are received and answers become available.

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