As part of GRACES (Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph), a project to link the Gemini-North telescope to the ESPaDOnS (Echelle Polarimetric Device for the Observation of Stars) spectrograph at CFHT (Canada- France-Hawaii Telescope), the original thermal enclosure of the spectrograph needed to be modified. Although the modifications were slight, there was a significant possibility that the thermal stability of ESPaDOnS would be somewhat compromised. To eliminate this risk, a walk-in thermal enclosure was purchased and installed around the ESPaDOnS spectrograph as part of the GRACES project. The thermal impact of these modifications to the ESPaDOnS environment will be analyzed and the effect of the changes on the amplitude and behavior of the spectral drift for the ESPaDOnS and GRACES instruments will be examined. While the outer enclosure has reduced the extremes in thermal variation, this has not had a direct effect on the stability of the spectra.
The Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDONS Spectrograph has achieved first light of its experimental phase in May
2014. It successfully collected light from the Gemini North telescope and sent it through two 270 m optical fibers to the
the ESPaDOnS spectrograph at CFHT to deliver high-resolution spectroscopy across the optical region. The fibers gave
an average focal ratio degradation of 14% on sky, and a maximum transmittance of 85% at 800nm. GRACES achieved
delivering spectra with a resolution power of R = 40,000 and R = 66,000 between 400 and 1,000 nm. It has a ~8%
throughput and is sensitive to target fainter than 21st mag in 1 hour. The average acquisition time of a target is around 10 min. This project is a great example of a productive collaboration between two observatories on Maunakea that was
successful due to the reciprocal involvement of the Gemini, CFHT, and NRC Herzberg teams, and all the staff involved
closely or indirectly.
Gemini South's instrument suite has been completely transformed since our last biennial update. We commissioned
the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS) and its associated Gemini South Adaptive Optics
Imager (GSAOI) as well as Flamingos-2, our long-slit and multi-object infrared imager and spectrograph, and the
Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). We upgraded the CCDs in GMOS-S, our multi-object optical imager and spectrograph,
with the GMOS-N CCD upgrade scheduled for 2015. Our next instrument, the Gemini High-resolution Optical
SpecTrograph (GHOST) is in its preliminary design stage and we are making plans for the instrument to