Burst Group External Collaboration Overview
Overview of Active or Possible External Collaboration
Name of external person(s), group, or scientific collaboration:SkyMapper (Home page)
Brief description of collaborative activity (one sentence):Look for GW at times of optical transients, and follow up many GW event candidates with a wide-field, medium-aperture telescope
Contact person(s) in the LSC+Virgo collaborations:Susan Scott
External contact person(s):Brian Schmidt
How does/would this collaborative activity benefit the LSC and Virgo?In either ExtTrig or LoocUp mode, an optical transient detected by SkyMapper which is associated with a GW event candidate could confirm it as an actual astrophysical event, localize it, and provide information about the progenitor. In LoocUp mode, prompt localization would allow further follow-up observations by even larger-aperture telescopes. We can probably ask SkyMapper to follow up GW event candidates fairly often, though the exact rate target is under discussion.
Are there other individuals/groups who could provide similar benefits?If so, what is the scientific and/or practical justification for pursuing this particular collaboration?
SkyMapper is notable for having an unusually wide field of view for a medium-aperture telescope -- even wider than the smaller ROTSE and TAROT telescopes. Therefore, SkyMapper can search deeply for an optical source even if the GW event candidate is poorly localized. The Palomar Transient Factory is similar, and complementary to SkyMapper since it is in the other hemisphere. On a practical level, SkyMapper is based at the Australian National University, so our LSC colleagues there at ANU have an excellent ability to interact with the SkyMapper team. An ANU graduate student (Matthew Satterthwaite) has been identified to work on this collaborative project.