SCiMMA

Scalable Cyberinfrastructure to support Multi-Messenger Astrophysics


On March 5, we will conduct planned maintenance on SCiMMA infrastructure between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST. There may be short periods during this window when valid publication or subscription requests to the Hopskotch Kafka service temporarily fail, and Hopskotch-connected web services (https://my.hop.scimma.org and https://hermes.lco.global) will be briefly inaccessible. The total time when services are unavailable should be no more than a few minutes, and some users of Kafka may not be affected.



A group of practicing scientists, interested in receiving alerts, scheduling follow-ups, follow up data, and messaging in real time, might first look at the quick start with HERMES . HERMES has an intuitive browser interface and integration to other tools, such as the treasure map. An API is available for advanced usage.


A facility or group interested in automated operations, and communications using an open or private publish - subscribe capability, might quickstart with HOPSKOTCH . Usage examples include getting SLACK messages when an interesting alert is recieved, and automated publishing of alerts. Messages can have an arbitrary format, including binary, AVRO, VoEvent and JSON. Large messages, such as spectra are allowed. Some programming required.

The LVK Run O4 is live. You can access alerts and followup actions in a number of ways using SCiMMA. Hermes provides easy to use web-and-api-based interfaces to a rich service infrastructure supporting follow-up observations. The Hopskotch publish/subscribe system provides access to LVK (topic igwn.gwalert) and GCN (topics gcn.notice, gcn.circular) alerts via command line and API access. if you wish, you can add to the community by publishing your own public or private messages by applying for a Hopskotch group of your own. You can get SLACK messages about alerts by adapting the slackbot message sender package.

Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (MMA) is an exciting new field of science that combines traditional astronomy with the brand new ability to measure multiple signals -- such as gravitational waves, gamma rays, and high-energy neutrinos -- that originate from individual celestial events. But, the promise of MMA can be realized only if sufficient cyberinfrastructure is available to rapidly coordinate, combine, and analyze the large-scale distributed data from a multitude of astronomical detectors and observatories. The goal of the Scalable Cyberinfrastructure to support Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (SCiMMA) project is to assess MMA's technical requirements by carrying out community engagement efforts, and then support these requirements by developing cyberinfrastructure and software systems.

SCiMMA's main directive is to identify the key questions and cyberinfrastructure projects that are required by the MMA community to take full advantage of current facilities and imminent next-generation projects, and begin prototyping systems to meet these needs. Anticipated products of the project include 1) cyberinfrastructure and software prototypes that support the integration of and communication between various MMA facilities; 2) a community white paper that presents an in-depth analysis of the cyberinfrastructure needs and the opportunities for collaborations among astronomers, computer scientists, and data scientists; and 3) a strategic plan for a scalable cyberinfrastructure institute for multi-messenger astrophysics laying out its proposed mission, identifying the highest priority areas for cyberinfrastructure research and development for the US-based multi-messenger astrophysics community, and presenting a strategy for managing and evolving a set of services that benefits and engages the entire community.

SCiMMA has so far developed substantial prototype cyberinfrastructure and software systems for MMA communication, including HOPSKOTCH, a cloud-based system of Kafka data streams to support secure MMA alert distribution with identity and access management integration, and hop-client, an open-source Python package that individuals in the MMA community can use to authenticate and connect to HOPSKOTCH. These systems are described are available at SCiMMA's GitHub along with the rest of the SCiMMA codebase.

SCiMMA has engaged the MMA community through a public seminar series consisting of over a dozen presentations from astrophysicists, computer scientists, and cyberinfrastructure developers that are freely available on Youtube. SCiMMA also led a collaboration with the SuperNova Early Warning System (SNEWS) to prototype a new version of their internal MMA network using HOPSKOTCH and hop-client, which is described in a publication on arXiv.

SCiMMA's systems are also in use by other MMA organizations, including the Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network (AMON), IceCube, the LIGO collaboration, and the Time-domain Astronomy Coordination Hub (TACH).