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Helpdesk Structure and Responsibilities

The Gemini HelpDesk is organised into three levels or tiers.

Tier 1

The first points of contact for queries from the community are the National Gemini Offices (NGOs). Requests submitted via the HelpDesk are routed to the appropriate NGO, using the country selected by the user, and to an individual or group within the NGO according to the subject.

Few, if any, of the NGOs will have the resources or expertise to respond to queries in all areas in depth. In such cases the query is escalated by the NGO support staff up to the second tier.

Tier 2

The second tier is organised purely by category and sub-category. The full list of categories indicates the assignment, either to an NGO or Gemini. The assignment for tier-2 support is to the partner that is/was primarily responsible for providing that instrument or capability:

Canadian responsibilities

US responsibilities

Australian responsibilities

ALTAIR (Gemini-N AO)

NIRI (near-IR imager)

NIFS (near-IR IFU)


GMOS (optical MOS)

GNIRS (near-IR spectrograph)

GSAOI (AO imager)



GPI (AO polarimeter/integral-field spectrometer)


Phoenix (high res. IR spectrograph)


IRAF (general)


NICI (near-IR coronagraph)

  FLAMINGOS-2 (near-IR imager/spectrometer)  

The Gemini Observatory is responsible for tier-2 support in all other categories. As an example, the responsibility for responding to tier-2 queries from the entire Gemini community regarding GMOS rests with Canada.

If the tier-2 support shown in the table above is unable to answer the query then it is escalated to the third tier.

Tier 3

The responsibility for tier-3 support in all categories lies with the Gemini Observatory.

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