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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.

Are any joint proposals planned to be submitted, e.g. for funding or for telescope time?

No, this is a peer-to-peer collaboration.

Describe any paper(s) which will/might result from this collaboration

If we discover a GW signal associated with an optical transient, we will be very excited and will publish a joint detection paper. We probably won't publish anything if we don't detect anything, except (potentially) a methods paper.

What preliminary studies (if any) have been done or are currently being done?

None so far.

Any other comments:

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