Gemini Observatory has been awarded a major funding from the National Science Foundation to build a complete new state of the art multi-conjugate adaptive optics system for Gemini North. The system will be designed to provide an MCAO facility delivering close to diffraction limit correction in the near-infrared over a 2 arcminutes field of view and feed imaging and spectroscopic instruments. We present in this paper the results of the conceptual design phase with details on the new proposed laser guide star facilities and adaptive optics bench. We will present results on the performance simulation assessments as well as the developed selected science cases.
We present the key scientific questions that can be addressed by GMOX, a Multi-Object Spectrograph selected for feasibility study as a 4th generation instrument for the Gemini telescopes. Using commercial digital micro-mirror devices (DMDs) as slit selection mechanisms, GMOX can observe hundreds of sources at R~5000 between the U and K band simultaneously. Exploiting the narrow PSF delivered by the Gemini South GeMS MCAO module, GMOX can synthesize slits as small as 40mas reaching extremely faint magnitude limits, and thus enabling a plethora of applications and innovative science. Our main scientific driver in developing GMOX has been Resolving galaxies through cosmic time: GMOX 40mas slit (at GeMS) corresponds to 300 pc at z ~ 1:5, where the angular diameter distance reaches its maximum, and therefore to even smaller linear scales at any other redshift. This means that GMOX can take spectra of regions smaller than 300 pc in the whole observable Universe, allowing to probe the growth and evolution of galaxies with unprecedented detail. GMOXs multi-object capability and high angular resolution enable efficient studies of crowded fields, such as globular clusters, the Milky Way bulge, the Magellanic Clouds, Local Group galaxies and galaxy clusters. The wide-band simultaneous coverage and the very fast slit configuration mechanisms also make GMOX ideal for follow-up of LSST transients.
One of the goals of the operations system being developed at the Space Telescope Science Institute for the
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is to produce the most efficient use of the observatory that is scientifically
justified. To first order, this means maximizing the amount of time spent collecting photons on science targets
while ensuring the health and safety of the observatory and obtaining the necessary calibration data. We present
recent efforts by the JWST EfficiencyWorking Group at STScI to quantify the expected observing efficiency based
on current plans for the operations system. These include collecting the expected observatory and instrument
overheads and updating a set of prototypical observing programs that will approximate over one full year of
JWST observations. The combination of these two efforts is being used to investigate the expected observing
efficiency and determine revised strategies to minimize overheads and maximize this efficiency.