Instrumentation Projects

ARC instrumentation projects involve collaboration with numerous industry partners. Within these partnerships, researchers work on ground-based, space-based and physics-focused projects.  

Ground Based Projects


The Narrow Field Infrared Adaptive Optics System (NFIRAOS) is a multiconjugate adaptive optics system with two deformable mirrors and six laser guide star wavefront sensors, designed as the AO heart of the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT). Its location at Nasmyth allows it to support three client instruments operating over the 0.8 – 2.5 µm wavelength range. HeNOS is the test bench, designed to be a scaled down version of NFIRAOS.

Contact: Dave AndersenJean-Pierre Veran


  • Mojtaba Taheri
  • Tarun Kumar

Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer

The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE) is a proposed 11.25m telescope, designed to excel at multi-object spectroscopy, with capabilities to simultaneously observe 4000 objects. 

ContactAlan McConnachie, Scott Roberts

Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST)

GHOST will provide two-object plus sky spectroscopy with full wavelength coverage from ~360-1000nm at resolutions from 50,000 to 75,000, and high throughput at the Gemini Observatory.

ContactAlan McConnachie

Gemini Infrared Multi-Object Spectrograph (GIRMOS)

Gemini Infrared Multi-Object Spectrograph (GIRMOS) is a powerful new instrument being constructed for the Gemini telescope that will carry out simultaneous high angular resolution infrared spectroscopy of four objects within a two-arcminute field-of-regard. The instrument will take advantage of the latest developments in adaptive optics, as well as technical innovations in optical engineering that are only now becoming available. GIRMOS's capabilities will also make it a pathfinder for the Thirty Meter Telescope's Infrared Multi-ObjectSpectrograph (IRMOS), which will be a future second-generation instrument.




GIRMOS instrument

Phased Array Feeds (PAFs)

Phased array feeds are rapid-imaging devices used in radio-astronomy observatories like DRAO and the SKA.  They also have potential in medical physics and geophysics.


Contact: Tim Robishaw

Composite Mirrors

Research into composite mirrors is being carried out at DRAO.

Contact: Gordon Lacey, Michael Rupen

Space Based Projects:

Fine Guidance System / Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS)

The Fine Guidance System / Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS) are designed for precision pointing and near-IR spectroscopy from 0.8 - 5 microns, at resolutions ranging from 150 to 700, contributing to all James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) main Science Themes.

Contact : John Hutchings, Chris Willott

Cosmological Advanced Survey Telescope for Optical and UV Research (CASTOR)

A project of the Canada Space Agency (CSA), the Cosmological Advanced Survey Telescope for Optical and UV Research (CASTOR) is a UV/optical (0.15–0.55 μm) satellite telescope that would provide ultra-deep, high-angular resolution imaging.

Contact : Patrick Côté

Physics Projects:

Detector of Recoils And Gammas Of Nuclear reactions (DRAGON)

DRAGON is a recoil mass spectrometer used at TRIUMF to measure the rates of nuclear reactions important in astrophysics.

Contact: Chris Ruiz

Industrial Connections:


ABB is involved in the TMT NFIRAOS Project, creating designs for the opto-mechanical systems.

Contact: Jacques Giroux

Quantum Technologies

Quantum Technologies is involved in the cold optics enclosure for the TMT NFIRAOS project.

Contact: Calvin Winter


INO is involved in creating designs for the opto-mechanical systems of the TMT NFIRAOS project.