The Grenoble-based company Alpao (30 employees; CA: NC), specializing in the field of deformable mirrors for adaptive optics, has announced that it has joined forces with Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) and the French aerospace research center Onera to carry out a competitive study for the design of a laser tomographic adaptive optics (LTAO) bench for the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii. This tool will provide the telescope with infrared images that will allow the observation of distant galaxies and will allow astronomers to better understand the physics of star formation within the Milky Way. This study is financed by an agreement between the AAO and the American consortium which operates Gemini on behalf of the NSF2 (National Science Foundation). Three international teams (Franco-Australian, Canadian and Dutch) are in
competition in this 12-month study. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will select a team for the final construction contract that will bring first light to the telescope by 2027.