Page 73

Versa Module Europa (VME) hardware architecture)

Gemini South laser is going through final integration

and mechanics (cooling redesign and implementation),

and testing and its FAT is planned in July. Lockheed

which are two areas where we suffer from a lack

Martin Coherent Technologies (LMCT), the GSK laser

of resources due mostly to observatory budgetary

contractor, currently expects Hawai‘i delivery of the


Keck laser in June and Chile delivery of the Gemini South laser in early September of this year. While

In high-level software, following a detailed definition

the contract called for design and fabrication of a

of the operating sequences (interaction of GeMS with

20-watt laser for Keck and a 50-watt laser for Gemini

the Telescope Control System (TCS), Telescope Control

South, the current Keck laser performance appears

Console (TCC), and sequence executer (seqexec)), the

significantly better than expected, with a laser output

Gemini Software Group will release first TCC/seqexec/

power in the 40-watt range. However, there are still

TCS GeMS-compatible version of the software for

both technical and contractual reasons that maintain

their mid-year release (June 2009). The various tools

some uncertainty as to the level of performance that

and features needed for commissioning of the system

the Gemini South laser will provide in operations, so

will be completed in the software’s second yearly

the next couple of months will be key to assess the

release in November 2009. The Observing Tool (OT)

outcome of this last critical GeMS component.

and Phase 1 Tool (PIT) GeMS panels and functions are also being worked on.

François Rigaut is the adaptive optics senior scientist at Gemini Observatory and can be reached at:

On the GeMS laser infrastructure front, a weakness identified in the laser service enclosure (LSE) foundation at the end of 2008 has been repaired and the overall structure reinforced. Meanwhile, the LSE and laser bench support structure has been manufactured in Santiago and has recently been accepted (see Figure 1). Assembly of this large beam structure on the “-X” side of the Gemini South telescope will take place during the May 2009 shutdown (as this issue went to press). The LSE itself will be installed thereafter to make sure that the laser infrastructure is ready ahead of the laser delivery by a comfortable margin. Nearly all components are fabricated and received for the Beam Transfer Optics (BTO). After completing current final control and alignment tests in the lab, the various subsystems will be installed in the telescope and alignment of the laser path from the laser system output up to the Laser Launch Telescope (LLT) will proceed and be completed by the time the laser is installed on the telescope. The last subsystem design work on the laser bench beam stabilization system has been finished. The Gemini South and Keck (GSK) laser contract is the last on-going contract within the Gemini MCAO program, but it is finally nearing a successful conclusion. The Keck laser factory acceptance testing (FAT) is planned in early May 2009, about two years later than originally anticipated. Meanwhile, the



Issue 38 - June 2009  


Issue 38 - June 2009