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The nominal GPI acquisition time is 10 minutes on average. This time is expected to apply to all modes when the target is a bright (V <9), single star, and should be added into your overall time estimate. Fainter targets, or targets in very crowded fields requiring the use of finder charts, may require longer acquisitions.  Please note that the field of view is very small; so accurate positions and proper motions will be essential for efficient acquisitions. 

The following will be included as baseline calibrations (for baseline telluric standard frequency, see the IR Calibrations page). You do not need to account for these in your total requested time:

  • Telluric cancellation standards (taken as calibrations every month)
  • Polarization standards (taken as calibrations every month)
  • Astrometric fields (taken as calibrations every time instrument mounted on the telescope)

The following are NOT part of the baseline calibrations: 

  • PSF standards
  • Any type of standard taken in conjunction with the science observation 

OT Time-line and time calculation

With the June 2015 OT release the timeline is accurate to within a few percent as detector overheads and half-wave plate changes are now correctly estimated.   

Acquisition Overheads Breakdown

The overheads for GPI acquisitions can be broken down into:



Time in Coronographic Modes 

Time with non-coronographic modes 


Slew of the telescope and dome

3 minutes

3 minutes


Arc exposure for flexure compensation

2 minutes

2 minutes


Internal calibrations (AOWFS lenslet to AOWFS detector mapping, Focal Plane mask (FPM) calibration)

4 minutes

2 minutes


Closing of AO loops (one or two loops at the moment) 

1 minute

1 minute


Convergence of loop driving star on FPM (LOWFS/CAL) 

1 minute




11 minutes

8 minutes

Gemini Observatory Participants