On December 11th, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the Gemini Observatory appointed Dr. Alexander van der Horst of George Washington University as the Interim Principal Investigator (PI) for Gen 4#3 (referenced as OCTOCAM), a next-generation astronomical instrument designed for the 8-meter Gemini South telescope in Chile. SwRI is the prime contractor with Gemini for the instrument.
This appointment follows the departure of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (IAA-CSIC) from the project. IAA-CSIC had originally provided the PI and Deputy Project Manager roles through their subcontract with SwRI.
“Dr. van der Horst will continue to serve as the instrument’s Project Scientist while the team brings a new Principal Investigator on board in early 2018,” said Dr. Scot Kleinman, Associate Director of Development at Gemini Observatory. “We remain grateful to the previous PI, Dr. Antonio de Ugarte Postigo, for leading the project from its inception up to this point and to Dr. Christina Thöne for her contributions as the Deputy Project Manager. We greatly appreciate Dr. van der Horst’s stepping up to lead the development team as we continue to bring this broadly capable instrument to Gemini on schedule.”
The Gen 4#3 instrument is a unique, multichannel imager and spectrograph that will provide rapid exposures of high-resolution images and moderate-resolution spectra simultaneously from ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths. The team expects to deliver the instrument to the Gemini South telescope in 2022.
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