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Gemini Observatory. Managing Under a Six-Nation Partnership. soon to be Five. “Two telescopes, one observatory”. Gemini South Cerro Pachon, Chile. Gemini North Mauna Kea, Hawaii. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Gemini Observatory Managing Under a Six-Nation Partnershipsoon to be Five

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  • Two telescopes, one observatoryGemini SouthCerro Pachon, ChileGemini NorthMauna Kea, Hawaii

    Gemini Observatory, constructed 1999-2000, consists of twin 8.1-m infrared-optimized telescopes with exquisite optics located on two of the best sites for observing the universe. Together these telescopes access the entire sky.

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  • The PartnershipPartner countries and their current shares are listed in the table below.The UK have announced their decision to withdraw at the end of 2012.As a result, and with changes in Australian and Brazilian involvement, revenues will decline and shares will transition as: ($ are O&M/Instr, in M)The increased share for the U.S. amounts to about +50 nights/yr for the general astronomical community on the two telescopes combined.-24%

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  • Gemini ManagementNSF serves as the executive agency for the international partnership

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  • PartnersFunding AgenciesSignatories to the AgreementAppoint members to the BoardDetermine new partnersBoardSupervisory and regulatory body established in the Gemini International AgreementComposed of Agency officials and science community representativesSets budget, approves key personnel and major contracts, etc.Determines action in event of default or withdrawalChile and Hawaii vote on scientific issues relevant to their tenant telescopeManagement Roles & Responsibilities

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  • NSFExecutive Agency - on behalf of partner agencies Board member: Ulvestad Program Officer: Schmidt (Foltz)Arranges for Managing Organization (currently AURA)Handles all fiscal mattersProvides technical and managerial oversight in consultation with BoardConducts and coordinates reviewsProvides Secretariat to the Board (Pentecost)

    AURA, Inc. Chosen as current Managing Organization by NSF, with approval of the Gemini Board.Operates Gemini under separate Cooperative Agreement.Negotiates with host countries, employs legal counsel, enters into contracts, manages the project, assumes fiduciary responsibilityAdvised by AURA Observatory Council Gemini (AOCG)Management Roles & Responsibilities (cont)

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  • Gemini International ObservatoryAdvised by Gemini Science CommitteeOperations Working Group, AO Working GroupConvenes International Telescope Allocation Committee (ITAC)

    National Gemini Offices (NGOs)National portals to GeminiProvide information to national users; process proposals; convene national TAC; etc.Funded by partnersThe U.S. NGO is the NOAO Gemini Science Center (Tucson)Advised by National Science Advisory CommitteeManagement Roles & Responsibilities (cont)

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  • Gemini AO image of 1RXS J160929.1-210524 and its ~8 Jupiter-mass companion (in red circle). Picture is a composite of J-, H, and K-band near-IR images. Obtained with the ALTAIR laser/natural guide star system and Near-Infrared Imager (NIRI) on the Gemini North telescope. Note 1 arcsec scale at bottom left.Highlights The First Directly-Imaged Planet around a Sun-like Star

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  • Highlights MCAO Constellation GeMS50-watt laser (above) is projected as a 5-spot constellation covering 1 sq. arcmin by GeMS to illuminate the sodium layer ~90 km above Cerro Pachon, Jan. 22, 2011.

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  • Successful execution of the Gemini queue requires:Detailed planning on a variety of timescales (months to minutes).Observers adept in the use of all mounted (up to 5!) instruments.All potential instruments ready and calibrated.Real-time data QA/QC by Gemini staff.

    The queue provides increased flexibility and observing efficiency, albeit at a cost. The Queue is the Default Operations Mode

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  • Primary sources of lost time are weather, fault, shutdown, engineering, commissioning.Delivering on Commitments Observing Efficiency

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  • Management and governance complexityInternational partnership demands a more active role than traditional for NSFLocal politics and economies, variation in Chilean peso exchange rateTransition to reduced budget post-UK withdrawalNew AURA proposal for management of Gemini Observatory 2012-2015 was submitted Jan. 31, and will be reviewed with site visit Mar. 21-24.Essential aspect of transition is ~24% budget reduction, including ~32 FTEsElements of proposed transition:Maintain high-quality instrumentation, queue operations, remote observingImprove interface to user communityReduce engineering, limit instrument complement, implement software queue, reduce travel, migrate queue observing to non-scientific staff.Challenges - I

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  • Responding to Astro2010Support from national communitiesProposal processInstrumentationInstrumentationFirst science observations with GNIRSCommissioning of GeMS MCAO systemPre-ship testing of GPIProblems with Flamingos 2Renewing efforts to obtain high-resolution optical spectrographRelationship to NOAO & other partner facilities. Concepts being considered by international Tiger Team of Gemini Board members, being led by AST Director J. UlvestadChallenges - II

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  • Supplementary Slides

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  • Completion rates have increased since 2004 (grey vs. other colors), but large proposal development effort causes continued proposer frustration, particularly for Band 3 programs.Delivering on Commitments Program Completion

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