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Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager (GNAOI)

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UPDATE 18 March 2020

After review of the submitted proposals, and extensive discussion within Gemini and with our governance, we conclude that Gemini will save significant funding and have a much greater ability to meet our schedule needs by pursuing an alternate path to achieve the goals originally imagined to be fulfilled by GNAOI as an early-light instrument for GNAO.  This alternate path will include adapting and moving our existing GSAOI instrument from Chile to become the early-light imager for GNAO in Hawai’i, and working to provide a multi-purpose imaging/spectroscopic instrument for GNAO post first-light. AURA Gemini is therefore concluding RfP NB3880C for a preliminary design of the Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager without selecting a team to proceed into the Preliminary Design Stage. 

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), on behalf of the Gemini Observatory, is soliciting competitive proposals to design and build the Gemini North Adaptive Optics Imager (GNAOI) for use on the Gemini North Telescope.

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. Because GNAO is in development with a planned Conceptual Design Review in September 2019, the GNAOI team will need to coordinate with Gemini during the project on requirements and interfaces. GNAOI needs to be ready by March 2024 to start post-delivery acceptance testing at Gemini North.

AURA is seeking proposals from qualified organizations which are interested in bidding on designing and building GNAOI. Evaluation criteria will include whether a bidder is located in a Gemini partner country.

Proposal submission has now closed. Project updates will be made available here in due course. 


Submit Notice of Intent, questions, and proposal to:

Gemini Team

  • David Henderson - Project Manager
  • Andrea Blank - Project Coordinator
  • Trent Dupuy - Project Scientist
  • Jeff Radwick - Project Systems Engineer
  • Barbara Peterman -  Contracts Officer
  • Tito Agbayani - Contracts Administrator / Lead Buyer
  • Stephen Goodsell - Project Sponsor


November 2019
  • 01 Nov - Proposal submission is now closed. Updates will be posted here in due course.
October 2019 
  • On October 04 AURA held a Proposers Conference to provide a forum to review the RfP material and encourage potential proposers to ask questions regarding the RfP documentation set. Proposers attended via video conferencing. Conference details can be found in the links section above.