LIGO Document G0900328-x0

LOOC-UP: A LIGO-Virgo Gravitational Wave Observation Initiated Multi-messenger Astronomy Project

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Within the LIGO and Virgo Collaborations, the LOOC-UP project is being developed to implement the rapid electromagnetic (EM) follow-up of candidate gravitational wave events starting during the S6/VSR2 science run. The application of such follow-ups will provide support for any detection of gravitational waves during this science run and provide valuable experience for mature EM follow-up applications during Advanced LIGO. Collaborations with EM observatories are being established to open a communication channel with the gravitational wave (GW) observatories and to define target of opportunity observing allowances. The LOOC-UP control and monitoring software, LUMIN, is also under development. This software begins by taking in parameters, such as source location estimates, from near real-time coincident events between detectors and determining which of the participating EM observatories will be able to image the source area and when. Once a human vets the candidate GW event, this information is then communicated to the EM observatories. The source area will then be imaged and analyzed to search for EM transients that may be the counterpart to the GW source. Once the LUMIN infrastructure is mature, it will be fully automated eliminating the need for human interaction. This multi-messenger astronomy approach to the search for gravitational waves is an important step in the development of GW astronomy and is essential for Advanced LIGO and Virgo when many gravitational wave detections are expected.
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to be presented at the 5th Gulf Coast Gravity Meeting, LSU: 17-18 April 2009.

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