YVR18-307:Detecting Binary Black Hole Mergers through LIGO Gravity Wave Measurements with Ultra96

The late physicists John Wheeler and Albert Einstein would have been overjoyed to see the recent confirmations of their hypothesis: gravity waves and black holes are out there, real and we can now detect them. Currently as of March 2018 6 major events have been detected, some of which have been simultaneously confirmed by independent telescope observation. The NSF funded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a system that uses a laser interferometers to measure the strong gravity waves that are emitted when multiple black holes and other dense star types merge together. These incredibly strong waves ripple across the universe and are detected by multiple 4km long LIGO systems. LIGO went online with usable detection capabilities in Sept of 2015 and miraculously within 2 weeks observed its first gravitational wave detection. The raw data for these detectors are publicly available and the LIGO team has released a Jupyter notebook that shows the signal processing involved and narrows the search to the detection intervals. In addition they offer to the public a set of Python libraries than can be used to search across any time interval. This presentation will give a brief intro of the LIGO search algorithms and show how to get started to search for black holes with your own Ultra96 board or any other system capable of running Jupyter notebooks. There will be brief mention of how the Ultra96 FPGA could be used to accelerate the search algorithm’s signal processing.

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