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Status and Availability

Update May 29th, 2017

  • A paper on forward modelling applied to GPI data processing has been added to the section Technical Documents.

Update March 20th, 2017

  • GPI back on the telescope 

Update March 3rd, 2017

  • GPI has been taken off the telescope for a GSAOI run. It is planned to mount GPI on the telescope again the 20th of March. 

Update December 16th, 2016

  • GPI back on the telescope and working fine. 
  • The GPIES duplication list has been significantly updated, targets have been removed, added and in some cases polarization mode added to the standard H-coron observation. The list can be found here.

Update November 19th, 2016

  • GPI back on the telescope and working fine. 
  • NEW FITS keywords added to the headers, both of these keywords are to allow the user to check the validity of the MASS and DIMM values in the header. 
    • MASTSTMP=                  6 / MASS time stamp, minutes since last update.
    • DIMTSTMP=                  0 / DIMM time stamp, minutes since last update.

Update October 14th, 2016

  • The Sensitivity entry on the Instrument Performance page has been merged with the Contrast information, with updates on Contrast vs I-magnitude, Contrast vs Time and Contrast vs Field Rotation. See the Contrast page for details.  

Update October 13th, 2016

  • GPI proposals for 2017A consisted of 9% of the total proposed time (excluding Subaru proposals). 

Update October 11th, 2016

  • GPI PPM mask now working, so no restrictions on NRM or other modes. 
  • GPI on the telescope until October 24th, expected to be back on the telescope by November 14th

Update August 9th, 2016

  • GPI intervention to repair the PPM mask wheel went well. Testing at warm temperatures worked very well.
  • GPI exit wheel fixed in the intervention
  • GPI will start cooling down during the shutdown and will be back on the telescope by August 29th

Update May 11th, 2016

  • GPI is back on the telescope, unfortunately weather has been poor the last three weeks. 
  • The Observing Preparations Page has been updated with details on the now available GS-GPI-library that contains detailed and explained examples of various types of observations
  • On various pages it has been highlighted that observing with GPI in worse conditions than normal is possible, but there is NO guarantee on performance and thus not suitable for high contrast observations like planet detection and discs but rather suitable for binary searches and extended objects like moons and asteroids.

Update April 12th, 2016

  • GPI is off the telescope and in the lab
  • GPI is expected to be back on the telescope April 22nd 
  • The 100Hz vibrations seen by GPI has been found to be primarily caused by F2 cryocoolers

Update February 23rd, 2016

  • The Public Data Release page has been updated and reorganized, have look as there is fully reduced available for download. 
  • GPI back on the telescope. 

Update February 19th, 2016

  • The pages for Meta modes and the Limiting Magnitudes pages have been updated to reflect the updates relevant to the NRM usage. The NRM mode is still offered in shared risk as we have very limited information on performance and constraints and the data reduction is not fully supported by the GPI pipeline.

Update February 4th, 2016

  • Weather in the last two months suitable for GPI so significant advance on the GPI queue for 2015B
  • Semester 2016A started
  • All non-rollover programs from 2015B have been deactivated due to the end of semester 
  • PPM mask kept in simulation in APOD_H so no NRM in any band, all other modes possible. Note that in the DIRECT mode a factor of 3 in flux is lost due to APOD_H being in. Simulations and tests show that using the APOD_H in K1 and K2 has a very minimal impact. Note that as the PPM mask is in Simulation the FITS keyword is incorrect for all modes EXCEPT the H-band. 
  • GPI comes off the telescope on February 10th, 2016 for a two week period. GPI is expected to be back on the telescope February 22nd and stay on until April 7th. Details on the schedule can be found on /sciops/metrics/gs2016Aoverview.html

Update November 12th, 2015

  • GPI taken off the telescope today as GSAOI going on the telescope. GPI kept cold in the lab and is expected to come back on the telescope November 27th
  • Major update on the GPI OT details page. Detailed description of all the pertinent information to make a GPI observing sequence.
  • Active dampers used on sky, uppdates on performance forthcoming so keep an eye on this webpage for updates
  • PPM mask kept in simulation in APOD_H so no NRM in any band nor K2 in any mode observations, all other modes possible. Note that in the DIRECT mode a factor of 3 in flux is lost due to APOD_H being in.

Update September 24th, 2015

  • Active dampers are working fine, vibrations down by a factor of 10! With this major milestone achieved it will be possible to advance on the commissioning of the High Order Wavefront Sensor (HOWFS) and using Speckle nulling. Updates will be posted with news. 
  • OMSS entrance shutter replaced
  • GPI didn't suffer any damage from the earthquake, aligned and cool in the lab
  • PPM mechanism work ongoing

Update September 9th, 2015

  • GPI taken off the telescope today and GSAOI mounted on the uplooking port.
  • While GPI is in the lab repairs will be done on the OMSS entrance shutter, troubleshooting of the PPM mechanism and further work on the active CCR dampers.

Update September 4th, 2015

Update August 31st, 2015

  • For Semester 2016A the NRM modes and any mode in K2-band are offered without any guarantee for the performance i.e. the data is taken at the requested conditions with no guarantee on the contrast or any other GPI performance indicator. 
  • GPI is back in operation in queue, the PPM mask is still locked to H-band apodizer and thus the GPI Observing Modes are limited to Y/J/H/-coronograph modes only in either spectral or polarization mode. In other words any mode in K1/K2 and any DIRECT mode is not available. We will update this page as soon as we have an update of the status.  

Update August 24th, 2015

  • GPI is now cooled down again to operating temperatures after the unplanned warm-up due to the snow storm two weeks ago.

  • Further testing with the Pupil Plane Mask motor shows that the motor is unreliable as it got stuck again during testing. It is not clear what component is causing the mask to get stuck, and we are continuing the troubleshooting to identify exactly which component in the mask that is causing the mask to get stuck (amplifier, driver card, bearing, etc). Thus we have in the meantime left the mask in the H-band position. The GPI Observing Modes are limited to Y/J/H/-coronograph modes only in either spectral or polarization mode. In other words any mode in K1/K2 and any DIRECT mode is not available. We will update this page as soon as we have an update of the status. 

Update August 6th, 2015

  • The Pupil Plane Mask suffered a major failure, we have partially recuperate the mask positioning and we have locked the mask in the H-band PPM position. We are continuing diagnosing the failure and in the meantime it means that the mask can't be moved and this limits the GPI Observing Modes to H-coronograph only in either spectral or polarization mode i.e. H-coron and H-coron-pol. We will update this page as soon as we have an update of the status, in the meantime please assume that for a minimum of two weeks from this date this limit will be in place. 

  • The attempt to install the active vibration dampers in July failed due to an electronics problem and we are waiting for replacement controller boards for the active dampers to attempt the active damper install again. It is expected that the dampers will significantly decrease the 60Hz and multiples vibrations from the CCR's in GPI. This in turn should yield a better contrast on sky, but details will be forthcoming after a successful install and testing on sky. Time frame of this is uncertain as priority is the repair and diagnosis of the PPM mask. 

  • The new read out electronics were successfully installed and we now can read out the AOWFS (OIWFS) faster allowing to read an additional row and thus allowing a better bias control. Bias level drifts were further stabilized by the install of new fans in the cabinet. 

  • The trouble shooting of the 37Hz was successful and we have not seen any 37Hz vibrations in GPI after the fix.

  • GPI was severely impacted by the poor weather in 2015A semester, as weather was worse than average and GPI was scheduled in blocks. We will be addressing this by more extensive cross training of observers so that GPI can be fully integrated into the queue operations so that we don't need to schedule GPI in blocks.

Update May 19th 2015

  • The pages on "optical throughput", "observing modes", and  the "Phase II checks" have been updated so make it clear that the K2 throughput is significantly lower than the K1 throughput. There is no new data but the pages have been updated to make it absolutely clear that we strongly recommend the use of K1 over K2 due to the lower throughput and the higher skies in K2. 
  • The "Observing Modes" page have been update to clarify that the NRM modes have no commissioning data at this time and NRM data are not fully reduced by the pipeline and thus any NRM data are only guaranteed to be taken under the requested conditions.
  • The "Overheads" page has been updated to reflect the now correct detector overheads and half-wave plate changes. It should be noted that acquisition times for non-coronographic modes have been decreased to 10minutes from the standard 15minutes. Note that this change will be implemented in a later OT release.  

Update April 20, 2015

There are three major updates:

  • Reference documents updated with links to data processing publications, very useful for first users of GPI and the GPI pipeline.

  • The Phase II checking pages have been used, very useful also for PI's preparing proposals for a quick check of feasibility. 
  • Proposal statistics for CfP 2015B now available
  • GPI was the 2nd most popular instrument in LLP proposals (including both GN and GS instruments)
  • GPI was the third most popular instrument (9%) in regular proposals, a drop from 2015A as it seems that PI's focused on LLP instead of the regular queue

Update January 30, 2015

The last night of the semester for GPI tonight. Standard queue operations for GPI wil start again after March 16th when GPI is back on the telescope.

Update November 20, 2014

The trouble shooting have had success of the bias drift issue and we are now in a situation that GPI will be back in queue. The queue window starts Friday November 21st to Monday November 24th.

The bias drift was caused by a poor cooling flow inside the Electronics cabinet for the OIWFS. The short term fix was to install an additional fan, and the long term is looking into better temperature control/cooling of the particular electronics boards.

Update November 18, 2014

It was found at the beginning of the last night of the GPIES Campaign (November 12th) that the bias drifts in the AOWFS were much higher than normal and impeding observation with GPI. Since then we have been investigating the issue and it is most probably related to cooling flow issues inside the electronics cabinet for the AOWFS.

As soon as we have news the status will be updated and we will then focus on advancing on the GPI queue programs. We recommend any PI's that have targets that have set and/or close to setting to take contact with the Head of Science Operations (Rene Rutten to get approval for adding new targets that have the same science goal as the original targets and thus allowing the completion of their science goals.

Update November 12, 2014

The exposure times have been modified and updated on /sciops/instruments/gpi/instrument-performance/exposure-times. We will update the exposure times in the programs in the queue for 2014B, so no intervention is needed from the PI's.

Update November 5, 2014

GPI grows in popularity among the Gemini community in the 2015A semester.

  • GPI proposals consisted of 16% of the total time requested at Gemini South, up by 5% from last semester.

Update November 4, 2014

On behalf of the GPI data analysis team I am pleased to announce the release of GPI Data Reduction Pipeline version 1.2. Available now from This release provides updates, bug fixes, improved documentation, and new functionality for 2014B and beyond. In particular:

  • Improved primitives for flexure correction, ADR compensation, photometric calibration, wavelength calibration, satellite spot photometry and astrometry, and more
  • Updated instrument characterization for pixel scale, rotation angle, and photometric zero points
  • Recipe generation enhancements and substantial speedups to the Data Parser
  • Documentation improvements including new tutorials on reducing your own GPI data and spectrophotometric calibration
  • and a whole bunch more.

Detailed release notes and credit to contributors are available at

Update November 3, 2014

An email was sent out yesterday to the GPI PI's informing them about the progress of GPI programs in the queue.

  • You may have seen that we have not been observing your GPI programs, this is not due to technical problems and/or problems with your observations. We have had GPI scheduled in queue blocks this semester, unfortunately the weather has not been cooperative with the expected conditions to observe with GPI. We are continuing with your programs in the queue and we hope that the weather will improve and we can progress with the GPI queue programs.

Update November 2, 2014

Summary of accepted programs in 2014B for GPI.

  • A total of 72h of Band 1 and Band programs was accepted in 2014B.
  • The time is spread over 12 programs of which 6 are Band 1 programs and 6 are Band 2. Programs are spread over most of the international partners, 2 Australian, 2 Canadian, 4 Chilean and 4 US programs.
  • The GPI proposals made up 11% of the total requested time and the over subscription factor for GPI was 3.7

Update May 12, 2014

  • Detailed instructions on how to obtain the GPI Pipeline and baseline Calibration files from the GSA are available here.

Update May 7, 2014

Update May 5, 2014



Update May 2, 2014


  • During the 6 nights dedicated to the GPI Early Science run, 4 nights were granted with photometric and clear sky with a very good seeing. The two last nights were unfortunately plagued with bad weather : clouds, winds and extremely poor seeing.
  • Out of the 16 accepted programs for the GPI Early Science run, 13 where completed, 1 partially completed, 1 attempted and 1 not observed. 
  • The run was in general very successful and the Gemini GPI team is satisfied by the GPI performance during this observing run.



Update March 24, 2014

  • The Early Science programs have been selected and the PI's contacted and they now can work on the Phase II for the observations. 
  • The second commissioning run started on March 20th and has been a great success, and it is expected that the remaining two nights will be working as well. The run has shown that the ADC is working and it is expected that we can use the ADC as part of the standard operations. Major improvements to the OIWFS control loops have been implemented and work is in progress on analysing the data. The polarization modes have been used frequently to obtain more performance data, high contrast data with the standard coronography and direct imaging data has also been taken. NRM observations has also been taken, which will allow performance evaluations of this mode in time for the 15A CfP. 
  • It is planned that April 20th to 26th will be the allocated nights for the Early Science run. 
  • Currently the time estimates in the OT is wrong as it does not properly calculate the times needed to take an exposure. Please check the Overheads node for more information. 


Update February 25, 2014

There has been a lot of activity on the GPI side these last few weeks.


  • GPI Early Science has been opened with a deadline of February 28th, 2014
  • WWW pages has seen a major overhaul:
    • Instrument Performance pages has seen a major update to all subsection
    • The Campaign target list has been updated
    • The public data realease now has more than a dozen targets that can be downloaded. The data sets include both raw and reduced data.
  • The remediation was a success, it included:
    • Replacement of two motors (pupil and prism/disperser slide)
    • Installation of an IFS baffle that removed the stray light seen on sky flats and GCAL flats
    • Software fixes that among other things decreased the overheads in readouts by 4 seconds
    • Most importantly a synchronization of the CCR's that decreased the measured vibrations by at least a factor of two

Update September 13, 2013

GPI is currently in the Acceptance testing stage, which is expected to conclude with the Acceptance review in late May 2013. Assuming the current schedule, the instrument will be delivered to Gemini South in middle 2013. GPI will be used to carry out large Campaign programmes as well as standard science programmes via the TAC system. It is expected that the earliest science observing will be in semester 2014A pending results from Acceptance Testing and Commissioning.

The approved GPI campaign program is led by Bruce Macintosh (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and will conduct a comprehensive survey to yield a robust census of extrasolar giant planets, for more information visit this link.

Update August 16, 2011

GPI is currently under development. Assuming the current schedule, the instrument will be delivered to Gemini South in middle 2012. GPI will be used to carry out large Campaign programmes as well as standard science programmes via the TAC system. It is expected that the earliest science observing will be in semester 2013A pending results from Acceptance Testing and Commissioning.

The approved GPI campaign program is led by Bruce Macintosh (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and will conduct a comprehensive survey to yield a robust census of extrasolar giant planets, for more information visit this link.

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) traveled from the University of California Santa Cruz to Gemini South and is now on the summit of Cerro Pachón. GPI remained in crates during the busy Gemini South maintenance shutdown. Unpacking just began, and GPI was reassembled in the instrument lab on August 29. If everything checks out successfully, GPI will be mounted on the telescope at the very end of October, with first light on sky sometime during November. Because no on-sky commissioning has been completed yet, the instrument will not be part of the regular 2014A call for proposals. However, we are aiming to conduct some early science observations, selected through an open call to the community, during the semester. More details will be provided as the instrument commissioning proceeds.

Update February 27, 2013

GPI testing at Cerro Pachon have reached a major milestone yesterday by taking images of the calibration light source with the science camera. The final contrast curve is very similar to those obtained in Santa Cruz. Today we ran the Speckle Nulling routine giving an improvement of a factor 2 to 3 . Progress have been according to the telescope integration plan and it is expected that GPI will go onto the flexure rig in the last week of September.

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