Big data challenges and international collaborative programs in gravitational -wave physics and astronomy

PI: Erik Katsavounidis, Department of Physics, MIT

Physics and Astronomy projects have been prodigious in generating data well before the official Big Data term was coined. With data archives to process at the petabyte-scale (per year) and petaflop-scale computing needed, gravitational-wave observatories, but also astronomical telescopes scanning the sky for the next astrophysical explosion or a near-Earth asteroid have been among such projects. Following the first direct observation of gravitational waves by LIGO in 2015, the synergy between gravitational- and electromagnetic-wave astronomy will be the next and necessary step in re-defining the way we do astrophysics and learn about the Cosmos. This proposal brings together expertise in Big Data science, as well gravitational- and electromagnetic-wave astronomy in order to work toward this connection, address the computational challenges and enable an international partnership that will maximize the science and its applications in a multi-disciplinary way.

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