Getting Ready for LISA: The Data, Support and Preparation Needed to Maximize US Participation in Space-Based Gravitational Wave Science

4 Dec 2020  ·  Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, :, Jillian Bellovary, Peter Bender, Emanuele Berti, Warren Brown, Robert Caldwell, Neil Cornish, Jeremy Darling, Matthew Digman, Mike Eracleous, Kayhan Gultekin, Zoltan Haiman, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Joey Key, Shane Larson, Xin Liu, Sean McWilliams, Priyamvada Natarajan, David Shoemaker, Deirdre Shoemaker, Krista Lynne Smith, Marcelle Soares-Santos, Robin, Stebbins ·

The NASA LISA Study Team was tasked to study how NASA might support US scientists to participate and maximize the science return from the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission. LISA is gravitational wave observatory led by ESA with NASA as a junior partner, and is scheduled to launch in 2034. Among our findings: LISA science productivity is greatly enhanced by a full-featured US science center and an open access data model. As other major missions have demonstrated, a science center acts as both a locus and an amplifier of research innovation, data analysis, user support, user training and user interaction. In its most basic function, a US Science Center could facilitate entry into LISA science by hosting a Data Processing Center and a portal for the US community to access LISA data products. However, an enhanced LISA Science Center could: support one of the parallel independent processing pipelines required for data product validation; stimulate the high level of research on data analysis that LISA demands; support users unfamiliar with a novel observatory; facilitate astrophysics and fundamental research; provide an interface into the subtleties of the instrument to validate extraordinary discoveries; train new users; and expand the research community through guest investigator, postdoc and student programs. Establishing a US LISA Science Center well before launch can have a beneficial impact on the participation of the broader astronomical community by providing training, hosting topical workshops, disseminating mock catalogs, software pipelines, and documentation. Past experience indicates that successful science centers are established several years before launch; this early adoption model may be especially relevant for a pioneering mission like LISA.

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Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology