Student opportunities

Electromagnetic follow-up of gravitational events with GRANDMA global telescope network during the next observational campaign from Gravitational Wave detectors LIGO/Virgogo

Location (3 possibilities): APC (Université Paris Diderot) or CEA Saclay or LAL (Paris 11)

Point of contact: Please the contact form

In the context of the GRANDMA project, we would like to propose an internship from February/March to August 2018 (or a subset of this period or before if it is possible) to a student with strong skills on computing (Python, C++) on physics (signal and image processing), and interesting in the astronomy and astroparticle fields.

Credit: NSF/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet

Global Rapid Advanced Network Devoted to the Multi-messenger Addicts (GRANDMA) is a network of 10 telescopes spread all over the world, with both spectrometry and photometry facilities. Mostly robotics, they are able to rapid follow-up transient events from the sky, connected the Violent Universe as collapse of massive stars or neutrons star coalescence. Events can be observed via their short timescale multi-wavelength signature as well emission from gravitational waves.

The collaboration LIGO/Virgo will organize the next observational campaign of gravitational events starting in the first part of 2019. As soon as an alert of gravitational waves will be distributed to the scientific community, GRANDMA will search the associated optical signal that can provide useful information about the particle mechanisms at play and the local environment. Moreover, we can use additional observation from space gamma-ray instruments Fermi/GBM and Integral/SPI . Note that GRANDMA is also a benchmark for the SVOM project, a French-Chinese versatile satellite to be launched in 2021, with built-in multi-wavelength capabilities, autonomous repointing.

Regarding the competencies and interests of the student, the internship can be oriented to:

Engineering and Coding subjects:

  • Computing/Coding: Automation of the alert digestion and development of the GRANDMA database
  • Optical Signal/Image processing: Transient detection online optical pipeline based on our telescope observations  including new methods using machine learning

Physique subjects:

  • Data Analysis of gamma-ray observations : Offline detection of gamma-ray transients with Fermi/GBM and Integral/SPI and comparison with SVOM/GWAC optical survey
  • Astrophysical interpretation: Classification of the optical or gamma-ray transient based on gamma-ray and kilonova models.

For the student, it will be the occasion to be involved in a fantastic project of astronomy and he/she will be integrated on an international team. It will be the occasion to improve his/her computing skill and developing a rigorous scientific approach. Note that possible travels to China (Beijing) for 1 to 3 months can be an option if there are some interest.