NSF invests in cyberinfrastructure institute to harness cosmic data

The National Science Foundation awarded the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and nine collaborating organizations, including the University of Washington, $2.8 million for a two-year “conceptualization phase” of the Scalable Cyberinfrastructure Institute for Multi-Messenger Astrophysics.

As part of SCIMMA, UW researchers will work to develop a “transient alert” system that will alert researchers around the world about cosmic events picked up, for example, by astronomical observatories.

“These events could include phenomena like collisions between black holes and neutron stars detected via gravitational waves, exploding supernovae detected by neutrino emissions, and other energetic phenomena detected in visible wavelengths of light,” said Jurić, who is also a faculty member with the UW DIRAC Institute. “UW researchers have demonstrated these technologies as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project, where the UW-built ZTF Alert Distribution System transmitted more than 100 million alerts over the past two years.”

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Adapted from a release by the National Science Foundation. For more information, contact Jurić at mjuric@astro.washington.edu.

The night sky at Palouse Falls in southeastern Washington.Mark Stone/University of Washington