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Instrument Upgrade Projects: Awarded Proposals

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2015-2017 IUP Project

During the 2015 program cycle, Gemini awarded Professor Casey Papovich from Texas A&M University (USA) for the proposal “Two K-filters for F–2 (K2F2).”  Professor Papovich and his team proposed a small upgrade to F-2 by providing two medium band filters, which split the spectral, range 1.9-2.5 microns. The team also includes astronomers from the University of Toronto (Canada), Swinburne University of Technology and Macquarie University (Australia), and Leiden University (Netherlands). The main science case supporting the upgrade use imaging K-band color deep surveys to perform high redshift demography and exploit synergies with current and forthcoming synoptic surveys.   The project envisions other applications as census of low mass stars in high extinction environments. In addition to funding the design, the procurement, and testing of the filters, Gemini has awarded the team with 10 hours of telescope time to demonstrate the scientific benefits of the new capability. The filters have been commissioned, the team is preparing their first publication and the new capability of Flamingos-2 is already offered to users. It is worth to note that several queue and fast turn around proposals have requested to use the filters.

2016-2018 IUP Projects

During the 2016 program cycle, Gemini awarded two proposals.

Professor Denise Goncalves from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for the proposal “Raman OVI narrow-band imaging with Gemini/GMOS.” The team also includes Professor Rodolfo Angeloni from the University of La Serena (Chile) as co-PI, and researchers from Sejong University (Korea), National Observatory of Brazil, Institute of Earth and Space Sciences (Argentina), and Columbia University (USA). The project envisions a promising new technique to discover symbiotic stars in the Local Group of Galaxies by providing a special set of narrow band filters for both GMOS-S and GMOS-N instruments. The symbiotic stars are binary systems in which a dwarf star accretes mass from a red giant companion, possibly the progenitors of one type of supernovae.  In addition to funding the procurement and testing of the filters, Gemini has awarded the team with 10 hours of telescope time to demonstrate the scientific benefits of the new capability. The filters acceptance tests have been completed, commissioning is underway, and the new capability will be offered to users after November 2018.

Professor Jennifer Hoffman from the University of Denver received another IUP award to commission the Gemini Polarisation Unit with NIRI. The team also includes researchers from Texas A&M University, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, University of Oklahoma and the National Research Council of Canada. The team wants to bring a new polarimetric facility into operation. GPOL, an existing polarimetric module designed to work with a range of Gemini instruments, will be combined with NIRI to fully test and characterize performance as well as pursuing two key science cases: mapping the spiral structures in the disk of AB Aurigae and identifying new Be stars in an open cluster. The measurement of polarization in NIR images will open possibilities to study magnetic fields at Gemini, with applications in the subjects of circumstellar disks, supernovae, exoplanets, AGN, the interstellar medium, stellar winds, jets, and stellar formation and evolution.  The project is in its initial phase, the feasibility studies. One of the GPOL units was chipped to one of the team facilities and some members of the team will inspect the other unit in the Hilo base facility laboratory before the end of 2018. The plans are to offer this new capability to the community in 2020.

2017-2019 IUP Project

In 2017 Gemini awarded a large project to provide an upgrade to GNIRS, the NIR workhorse instrument of Gemini North. Currently the contract is under revision by the National Science Foundation and we expect to kick-off the project by November 2018.   Soon after the contract has been signed we will inform the details of this exciting instrument upgrade.


Gemini Observatory Participants