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Gemini Instrument Feasibility Study

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Gemini is pleased to announce the launch of 4 feasibility studies as a result of the GIFS RfP process. The four studies (alphabetically) are GEONIS, GMOX, MOVIES, and OCTOCAM. Below is a brief synopsis of each study:

GEONIS: The Gemini Efficient Optical and Near-infrared Imager and Spectrograph study is being led by Nick Konidaris and managed by Dan Reiley at the California Institute of Technology. Main collaborators include astronomers at the University of Colorado Boulder, Penn State University, University of Toronto, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the US National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

The astronomical landscape in the coming decade will be dominated by wide-field synoptic surveys. GEONIS is driven to both classify and study transient events over a wide wavelength range in a single exposure. The same instrument has broad reach across a variety of observational disciplines: characterize transiting exoplanets, pinning down the location of near-Earth asteroids, high redshift galaxies, and stars of unusual metallicity.

The GEONIS instrument concept is an efficient two-channel spectrograph and imager with wavelength coverage spanning 0.4 to 1.6 µm. It is designed from the ground up as an observing system that leverages new detectors, atmospheric dispersion correction, and a slit-viewing camera in order to maximize science collecting time and minimize overhead.

For more information of the GEONIS study, please contact:
Nick Konidaris (PI):
Dan Reiley (PM):

GMOX: The Gemini Multi-Object eXtra-wide-band spectrograph study is being led by Massimo Robberto and managed by Stephen Smee at Johns Hopkins University. Main collaborators include the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Prime GMOX science drivers include probing the high redshift universe from 610 through deep spectroscopy of lensed galaxies. With its large observable wavelength range, GMOX can also study UV/optical spectral features arising from star formation at redshifts 1

The GMOX instrument concept is a wide-band R~5000 spectrograph covering the entire optical/near-IR spectrum accessible from the ground, from the U-band to K-band (0.32 – 2.4µm) via five spectroscopic arms. Using existing MEMS technology, GMOX plans to exploit the exceptional image quality of GeMS.

For more information on the GMOX study, please contact:
Massino Robberto (PI):
Stephen Smee (PM):

MOVIES: The Montreal-Ohio-Victoria Echelle Spectrograph study is being led by Alan McConnachie and managed by Les Saddlemyer at the National Research Council of Canada Herzberg. Main collaborators include Ohio State University and the Université de Montréal.

The primary science motivation for MOVIES includes spectroscopic follow up of the transient phenomena uncovered by facilities like the LSST. Additional science drivers include studying the composition of stars and solar system planets and planetesimals.

The MOVIES instrument concept is a broad bandwidth, moderate resolution (R~3K – 10K) dual arm optical and near-infrared (NIR) echelle spectrograph that simultaneously covers at least 0.40 – 2.40 µm. It is supported by a rapid acquisition camera operating simultaneously in the optical and NIR. Key additional features of the MOVIES concept include rapid target acquisition and high stability and a multiband acquisition and guiding system.

For more information on the MOVIES study, please contact:
Alan McConnachie (PI):
Les ls. Saddlemyer (PM):

OCTOCAM: The OCTOCAM study is being led by Antonio de Ugarte Postigo and managed by Pete Roming and Christina Thöne. The project is being coordinated from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA-CSIC), with main collaborators at the Southwest Research Institute, Fractal SLNE, and George Washington University.

OCTOCAM’s key science driver is the study of astronomical transients. Subsecond time resolution observations could allow the identification and characterization of extrasolar planets and their atmospheres through transits, the study of the internal structures of stars through asteroseismology, the study of the solar system history through trans-neptunian object occultations, massive stellar explosions and outbursts, supermassive black hole environments and the physical properties of jets.

The OCTOCAM instrument concept is an 8 arm multiband imager and spectrograph covering 0.33 – 2.30µm with R~3000 and high time-resolution capabilities. The team will also study the potential science cases opened by including an additional IFU unit and a spectropolarimetric mode in the instrument design.

For more information on the OCTOCAM study, please contact:
Antonio de Ugarte (PI):
Pete Roming (PM):
Christina Thöne (PM Spain):

Each study will give a status presentation at the Toronto 2015 Future & Science of Gemini Observatory meeting, June 14th to 18th in Toronto. The meeting will provide a unique opportunity to interact with each team in one setting.

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