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Integration and Testing at Gemini

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New instruments and systems will undergo several stages of integration and testing (I&T) with the final stage occuring at the telescope itself. Gemini sees value in working closely with instrument teams during both pre-delivery and post-delivery I&T. 

Pre-Delivery Expectations for I&T

Gemini advocates for a strong pre-delivery I&T program, for several reasons.

  1. To identify issues earlier if possible and to reduce risk.
  2. To identify issues while still at contractor site, where the development team is located and available to facilitate troubleshooting.
  3. To reduce the amount of problem solving performed at altitude, on the summit, where there is less oxygen as well as less in-person support.
  4. Pre-delivery I&T is an important time for knowledge transfer between contractor teams and Gemini staff who will be supporting the instrument.

Pre-delivery I&T is recommended to include:

  • Flexure testing
  • Optical alignment
  • Initial measurement of key performance parameters
  • Software testing

Post-Delivery Expectations for I&T

Post-delivery I&T may occur at both base and summit, or just at the summit. At this point, I&T should be focused on integration with Gemini systems which could not be simulated at the contractor site. We do expect to perform some re-assembly, re-alignment, etc. as some disassembly may be necessary for shipping. On-site contractor support will be expected for this. Much of the Gemini-focused I&T will require close collaboration with Gemini staff, and they will coordinate the ENTs and then the commissioning runs with Gemini operations.

Gemini Facilities for I&T

Gemini has lab spaces at GN base facility, and at both GN and GS summit facilities (3 labs total).

All of the lab spaces offer: 

  • Systems services as described in ICD 1.9/3.6 can be made available.
  • Connectivity to telescope software systems.
  • A flex rig for flexure testing. It is possible to simulate each angle the instrument may see and there is a calibration source to aid in measuring flexure too.
  • A small clean room. The rooms are limited in size and cannot fit an entire assembled instrument, generally, and there is no crane inside the clean room for lifting a complete instrument.

I&T Requiring Telescope Time

Gemini does not have test beds or simulations of the following. Time must be scheduled on the telescope in order to do I&T. Time is requested through engineering task requests ("ENTs"), and Gemini staff will assist in generating and submitting these.

  • Gemini telescope pupil / optical path
  • Gemini calibration unit (GCAL)
  • Gemini acquisition and guiding unit (A&G)

Instrument Handling

Gemini provides facility handling equipment for handling, manoeuvering and installing instruments, as described in ICD 1.9/2.7. Newer instruments may provide their own handling carts.

Gemini Observatory Participants