This is a data visualization project in conjunction with NASA JPL, Caltech, and Art Center in reinventing ways of seeing data in in order to drive better cohesion across research groups and create a deeper understanding of the data. We developed a tool to help simplify and structure the hundreds of thousands of data channels tracked by LIGO, a mission to detect gravitational waves.
Below is a glimpse of the explorations we developed for our future of home vision.
NASA JPL, CalTech
Research, Data Visulization, Project Managment
This is a data visualization project in conjunction with NASA JPL, Caltech, and Art Center in reinventing ways of seeing data in in order to drive better cohesion across research groups and create a deeper understanding of the data.
The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory is an astrophysics facility that was created to detect gravitational waves in space-time. This research project is an extension of the work predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. The operation leverages miles long lasers, bouncing through a series of mirrors, to detect micro ripples in space-time caused by black holes and other astronomical phenomena. There are twin LIGO facilities in the United States, Hanford Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana, that operate in unison.
In order to have a proper detection of a gravitational wave the LIGO’s subatomically sensitive laser needs to be un-affected by exterior influences. The thousands of sensors are monitored 24/7 by a team of researchers but with the insane volumes of data, multiple cross country research teams, and disjointed coding mechanisms the 30+ year experiment had never detected a gravitational wave. Below are some examples of ways researchers viewed the data. We set out to build an interactive tool that synthesized vast data while allowing identification of a single data channel.
In order to simplify the hundreds of thousands of data channels we worked with researchers to identify and consolidate factors of data noise into a unified series of groups to establish a common language between researchers. This allowed us to create a visualization (left circle) that showed a wholistic vision of bundled data noise while also providing a drilled down view onto a subset of data (right circle).
This allowed us to create a single visualization with a unified language to represent all channels of noise. The left circle providing a wholistic view of the laser state, allowing researchers to identify patterns of irregularity, while being able to chase down those irregularities down to a single channel, visualized on the right.