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 IU Trident Indiana University

Realizing the Universe for the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Using XSEDE Support 
 Principal Investigators:  Prof. August Evrard (University of Michigan), Prof. Andrey Kravtsov (University of Chicago)

Full Sky Image 


Project Outcome: We have completed the first of the Blind Cosmology Challenge (BCC) N-body computations, and are preparing to add galaxies and weak-lensing signals to the data. We are prepared to run the next (and all future) N-body simulations in the Apache Airavata workflow environment, and plan to fold in the galaxy and weak-lensing post-processing stages in the next semester. Using a workflow environment has reduced sources of error and inefficiency associated with an individual running every step of the process.  Development of do-while construct in workflow helps us overcome queue wall-time limits of XSEDE resources (TACC Ranger). 

Impact & Benefit:  DES will be the first project to combine four different statistical methods to probe the properties of dark matter and dark energy. Each method has associated sources of systematic error. Our simulations will provide support for analyzing systematics in the three methods associated with large-scale structure. We are coordinating a Blind Cosmology Challenge, in which a variety of sky realizations in different cosmologies are analyzed, in a blind manner, by DES science teams. The BCC process depends on a number of computationally intensive steps, execution of which can be greatly facilitated in a workflow environment supported by XSEDE. The resultant catalogs offer stringent tests of science pipelines' ability to robustly derive cosmological parameters with design accuracy.

Background & Explanation: The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an upcoming international experiment that aims to constrain the properties of dark energy and dark matter in the universe using a deep, 5000-square degree survey of cosmic structure traced by galaxies. To support this science, the DES Simulation Working Group is generating expectations for galaxy yields in various cosmologies. Analysis of these simulated catalogs offers a quality assurance capability for cosmological and astrophysical analysis of upcoming DES telescope data. Our large, multi-staged computations are a natural fit for workflow control atop XSEDE resources. 

NSF GSS Codes:

Primary Field: Astronomy (201) - Planetary Astronomy and Science

Secondary Field: Communication (930) - Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia