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Future Instruments

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With great pleasure we proudly announce SCORPIO as our next facility-class instrument. SCORPIO will be a wide-band medium-resolution spectrograph and imager. This powerful facility will be designed to support a wide range of science and to take advantage of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope follow-up opportunities.  SCORPIO stands for Spectrograph and Camera for Observations of Rapid Phenomena in the Infrared and Optical.

A contract to design, build, and commission the instrument was signed between the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas, and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) in March 2017. The project is in the Critical Design Stage of instrument build. 

Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST)

Gemini has contracted with the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) for the continued design and construction of the Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST). The AAO has, in turn, subcontracted the National Research Council Herzberg (NRC-H) for the construction of the spectrograph and The Australian National University (ANU) for instrument software. 

The project is currently in the build phase. GHOST will provide two-object plus sky spectroscopy with full wavelength coverage from ~363 - 950 nm at resolutions from 50,000 to 75,000.


NGS2 is a project to improve the sky coverage of GeMS by upgrading the current natural guide star sensor. The Natural Guide Star (NGS) Next Generation Sensor (NGS2) team, led by the Australian National University (ANU) held its design review at Mt. Stromlo, Australia from 24 to 27 March 2015. Overall, the review was successful and we have a high degree of confidence that the project will meet the science goals of a 1.5 magnitude boost in sensitivity compared to the current NGS in GeMS. This sensitivity increase will approximately triple sky coverage for GeMS while the NGS2 unit itself is also designed to make the overall system easier to support. We are aiming for installation in October 2019.

Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager (GNAOI)

GNAOI will be used with both a Gemini North multi-conjugate adaptive optics system (GNAO) now under development and a planned future ground layer adaptive optics system. Gemini expects GNAOI to be a low-cost, low-risk design, using a single HAWAII-4RG detector and intends for GNAO to provide a 2’ field of view with a Strehl ratio of no less than 30% over the entire FoV under median seeing conditions in K band. 

For more historical documents concerning past instrument development, including the Aspen Process, please see this page.