Gemini staff contributions
On the Horizon
The GHOST Team is testing the assembled Cassegrain unit.
OCTOCAM moves into the Preliminary Design Stage. And
Gemini successfully commissions Gemini South’s new laser
guide star facility.
GHOST Cassegrain Unit Fully Assembled
The build of the GHOST Cassegrain unit is nearly complete. In November,
Gemini staff participated in weighing and inspecting the fully assembled
unit at the Australian Observatory (AAO) lab in North Ryde, New South
Wales. The unit is currently on its way to Chile.
In December, Gemini representatives spent a week at the AAO testing the
Integral Field Unit (IFU) positioner and verifying the assembly and opera-
tion of the electronics and software of the Cassegrain unit. Following over
four days of inspections, tests, and demonstrations, the positioner, elec-
tronics, and software were accepted for shipment to Gemini South. The electronics unit
is expected to be shipped to Chile by year’s end where the team will begin preliminary
testing and debugging on the telescope in late January.
— Cathy Blough
OCTOCAM Starts Its Preliminary Design Stage
OCTOCAM, a wide-band medium-resolution spectrograph and imager, and the Observa-
tory’s next-facility-class instrument for Gemini South, has entered its Preliminary Design
Stage. Project members met for the Preliminary Design Kickoff meeting on October 17,
2017, at the lead contractor’s location: the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San An-
tonio, Texas. They used this opportunity to hold technical interchange meetings (optical,
mechanical, electrical, and operations) to review the progress made against the Critical
Design Review recommendations.
AAO staff Vlad Churilov
(left) and Lew Waller
(right) steady the fully
Cassegrain unit as it is
lowered onto load cells
for mass and center of
Gemini’s Gabriel Perez
is in the background
inputting the load cell
data to calculate the
center of gravity.
Credit: David Henderson
On December 11th, SwRI and the Gemini Observatory appointed Project Scientist Alex-
ander van der Horst of The George Washington University as the Interim Principal Inves-
tigator (PI) for the instrument. This appointment follows the departure of the Institute de