Astrophysical phenomena, and particularly the most energetic, emit a range of particles from photons to neutrinos and cosmic rays. They may also produce gravitational radiation. These 'messengers' carry details of the energetics and physical conditions in these sources. The Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON) aims to discover new particle astrophysics phenomena by merging the world's leading multimessenger observatories into a single data system for the first time. The facilities to be linked by AMON observe high-energy neutrinos (the IceCube and ANTARES Neutrino Observatories), the strongly-interacting nuclei observed as cosmic rays (the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory), and in future phases, the oscillations in the fabric of space-time manifested as gravitational waves (the Advanced LIGO and VIRGO gravitational-wave detectors). These are complemented by current and next-generation gamma-ray facilities, including the Swift and Fermi satellites and the HAWC gamma-ray observatory. Over the three year award period, the PIs will construct a prototype AMON network with the scientific goal of discovering the first jointly-emitting gamma-ray and high-energy neutrino sources. In conjunction with the AMON project, the PIs will also initiate and run 'AstroTxt,' an applied educational experience that will involve central Pennsylvania middle and high school students directly in real-time AMON operations.
AMON will assemble the first terabyte-scale multimessenger database and develop tools for data exchange and real-time correlation analysis, establishing a superior level of interoperability. This new and transparent sharing of data promises significant scientific advances: Data from individual facilities that in isolation cannot be interpreted as the detection of an astrophysical source, may achieve a higher level of significance in a joint coincident analysis of data from multiple participating observatories. Each candidate astrophysical signal will be packaged as an electronic AMON Alert and distributed to a network of follow-up facilities for counterpart searches and characterization. Identification of an x-ray, optical, or radio counterpart will serve to confirm the astrophysical nature of an event and enable a broad range of detailed studies, including distance or redshift measurement, using traditional astronomical techniques.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/14 → 6/30/18|
- National Science Foundation: $384,373.00