Astralis have recently finalised an agreement with the US consortium AURA to conduct a Phase A study for an adaptive optics bench for the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii. The Phase A study will be led by AAO-MQ (Astralis-AAO) representing the Astralis Instrumentation Consortium with Astralis partner ANU (Astralis-AITC), and with international partners ONERA – the French Aeropace Lab, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille – France, and the French company ALPAO.
A number of international teams are competing in this 12-month Phase A study. At the conclusion of the study, AURA will select one team for the contract for final design and construction of the facility.
The adaptive optics bench is a significant component for the Gemini North Adaptive Optics project that will provide the Gemini North telescope with a state-of-the-art adaptive optics facility enabling the capability to obtain very high resolution near-infrared images over almost the entire sky. This facility will make possible a wide range of scientific studies. It will allow targeting of distant galaxies to study their formation and evolution, back to a time in the early universe when galaxies were first forming. It will also allow astronomers to gain insight into the physics of star formation within the Milky Way galaxy.
(This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.)