Modeling LIGO Data Analysis

Paper: 175
Session: A (poster)
Presenter: Blackburn, Kent, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Keywords: analysis, parallelization, communication, simulation, wide-area networking

Modeling LIGO Data Analysis
James Kent Blackburn

California Institute of Technology
Physics, Math and Astronomy Division
LIGO Project, Mail Code 51-33
Pasadena, CA 91125 U.S.A.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) will search for
direct evidence of gravitational waves emitted by astrophysical sources in
accord with Einstein's general theory of relativity. State of the art laser
interferometers located in Hanford, Washington and Livingston Parish, Louisiana
will unambiguously measure the infinitesimal displacements of inertially
isolated test masses which convey the signature of these gravitational waves.
The initial commissioning of LIGO will consist of three interferometers
operating in coincidence to remove spurious terrestrial sources of noise.
Construction of the facilities is under way at both sites, while research
continues to develop the technologies necessary for detection and analysis.
These initial LIGO interferometers will search for gravitational wave
signatures with very low event rates and low detection signal to noise ratios
out to distances as great as 300 million light years. Data will be collected
continuously from the three interferometers at rates as high as 16 megabytes
per second. Data analysis for LIGO has been modeled and ranges from the
extremely simple for the case of stochastic background searches and intense
short duration bursts from supernovae and black hole mergers which will rely
on site to site communications to share data used in coincidence, to state of
the art parallel and distributed computing utilizing several hundred nodes to
detect the chirp signals from neutron star - neutron star binary systems and
black hole - black hole binary systems during the inspiral phase, to several
hundred teraflop computers of the future needed by the all-sky periodic
source pulsar surveys using weeks worth of data.