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.
SPIRou is a near-IR echelle spectropolarimeter and high-precision velocimeter under construction as a next-
generation instrument for the Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope. It is designed to cover a very wide simultaneous
near-IR spectral range (0.98-2.35 μm) at a resolving power of 73.5K, providing unpolarized and polarized
spectra of low-mass stars at a radial velocity (RV) precision of 1m/s. The main science goals of SPIRou are
the detection of habitable super-Earths around low-mass stars and the study of stellar magnetism of star at
the early stages of their formation. Following a successful final design review in Spring 2014, SPIRou is now
under construction and is scheduled to see first light in late 2017. We present an overview of key aspects of
SPIRou’s optical and mechanical design.
OPERA is a Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) open source collaborative software project currently under
development for an ESPaDOnS echelle spectro-polarimetric image reduction pipeline. OPERA is designed to be
fully automated, performing calibrations and reduction, producing one-dimensional intensity and polarimetric
spectra. The calibrations are performed on two-dimensional images. Spectra are extracted using an optimal
extraction algorithm. While primarily designed for CFHT ESPaDOnS data, the pipeline is being written to be
extensible to other echelle spectrographs. A primary design goal is to make use of fast, modern object-oriented
technologies. Processing is controlled by a harness, which manages a set of processing modules, that make use
of a collection of native OPERA software libraries and standard external software libraries. The harness and
modules are completely parametrized by site configuration and instrument parameters. The software is open-
ended, permitting users of OPERA to extend the pipeline capabilities. All these features have been designed to
provide a portable infrastructure that facilitates collaborative development, code re-usability and extensibility.
OPERA is free software with support for both GNU/Linux and MacOSX platforms. The pipeline is hosted on
SourceForge under the name "opera-pipeline".
The Gemini Remote Access CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph (GRACES) is an innovative instrumentation experiment
that will demonstrate if ESPaDOnS, a bench-mounted high-resolution optical spectrograph at CFHT, can be fed by a
270-m long fiber from the Gemini-North telescope with low enough losses to remain competitive with conventional
spectrographs on other 8 to 10-m telescopes. Detailed simulations have shown that GRACES should be more sensitive
than the HIRES spectrograph at Keck Observatory at wavelengths longer than about 600-700 nm. This result is possible
by using FPB-type of optical fibers made by Polymicro Technologies and by keeping the critical focal ratio degradation
(FRD) losses to less than 10%. Laboratory tests on these FPB optical fibers are underway and show that for 36-m lengths
that the FRD losses are as low as 0.8% with a repeatability of 1%. Tests are currently underway on 280-m lengths.