Control and Data Reduction for GHOST

The Gemini High Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) will be a new instrument from 2019 for the 8m Gemini South telescope in Chile. GHOST will measure the abundance of elements in stars throughout our Galaxy and beyond. It will also measure the motion of stars via their Dopper shift accurately enough to detect extrasolar planets. The control software, data reduction software and science team are all led from the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) at Mount Stromlo.


AITC’s control software has to interface seamlessly with systems throughout the Gemini telescope, including precision positioners for the two integral field units, a calibration system, the telescope systems and mechanisms within the spectrograph. The data reduction software has many differences to other slit or fibre fed echelle spectrographs, because the outputs of the many fibres per star are overlapping, and data reduction makes use of a simultaneous slit viewing camera.


The AITC team are regularly interfacing with all our partners as the software components approach completeness. The GHOST science team, led by A/Prof Michael Ireland, will be testing the software and tweaking the final software features in collaboration with AITC’s software engineering team.


The project is in construction phase, with the IFU positioners and acquisition software to be tested at Gemini South early in 2018, the data reduction software tested on laboratory data in 2018 and the full system installed at Gemini South in 2019.

Relevant publications

  • Ireland M. et al, 2016, The precision radial velocity error budget for the Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST), Proc. SPIE, 9908E, 7AI
  • Ireland M. et al, 2014, Progress on the Gemini High-Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) design, Proc. SPIE, 9147E, 1JI
  • Ireland M. et al, 2012, The AAO's Gemini High-Resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) concept, Proc. SPIE, 8446E, 29I