Gemini Operations for Multi-Messenger Astronomy
2019 August 08
Gemini Observatory will be an important facility for following up time-domain discoveries in the multi-messenger era. Gemini has a variety of time allocation processes in order to accommodate a broad range of project needs and timescales. Time is allocated by regular participant TACs, a common large program TAC, and by proposer peer review for "fast-turnaround" proposals. Queue observing allows Gemini to easily execute target-of-opportunity (ToO) observations and this capability will be very important for transient follow-up. Instrumentation includes optical and near-infrared imagers and spectrographs at both sites. New facility instruments and systems are under development including GHOST (high-resolution optical spectrograph), SCORPIO (the broad-wavelength follow-up workhorse), and a new multi-conjugate AO system for Gemini North. Visitor instruments are also highly encouraged. All new facility instruments will be delivered with data reduction pipelines and the data are delivered via a cloud-based science archive. Finally, we summarize planned changes to our operations software to handle the expected increased volume of ToO triggers and to incorporate Gemini into the developing time-domain follow-up infrastructure. These changes will include new interfaces, more programmatic access, a real-time scheduler, and automated data reduction.