A Framework for Data Intensive Discovery in Multimessenger Astrophysics

Project: Research project

Project Details


This is the conceptualization phase for a Scalable Cyberinfrastructure Institute for Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (SCIMMA). SCIMMA is a collaboration between data scientists, computer scientists, astronomers, astro-particle physicists, and gravitational wave physicists. It leverages NSF investments in astronomical and multi-messenger facilities, and in advanced cyberinfrastructure. Along with achieving key scientific goals and consulting with relevant collaborations and stakeholders, the conceptualization of SCIMMA includes developing algorithms, databases, and computing and networking cyberinfrastructure, to support both observations and their interpretation. This phase includes prototyping a SCIMMA education and outreach center, and presenting accessible digests of the goals and achievements of the institute. The team will be preparing novel curricula at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and the group will support graduate student fellowships for short duration projects.

Multi-messenger astrophysics (MMA) is a data-intensive science in its infancy, but already providing revolutionary insights. At the current tipping point, timely investments in cyberinfrastructure for key MMA facilities will enable a torrent of new discoveries. A key goal for SCIMMA is the efficient, rapid, and routine discovery of electromagnetic emission via coordinated follow-up of gravitational wave events. This real-time science needs co-analysis of disparate datasets and the autonomous coordination of diverse follow-up in a seamless fashion. SCIMMA balances rapid prototyping, novel algorithm development, and software sustainability. The rapid-prototype team, tasked to use existing resources to meet immediate goals, is closely integrated with the cyberfoundations team, which will architect new algorithms and deploy new technologies. Software sustainability is a foundational element of the design process, since the institute and its supporting cyberinfrastructure will persist for a decade or more, and both teams will adopt this principle. SCIMMA in full operation will provide the community with consulting services and bring both existing and new MMA activities to maximal interoperability.

This project is part of the National Science Foundation's Big Idea activities in Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) and Windows on the Universe - The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (WoU-MMA).

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/198/31/23


  • National Science Foundation: $2,800,000.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.