Simon Krughoff, Research Associate
Contact InformationEmail: krughoff@astro
Office : C325
Phone : 206.543.9487
Fax : 206.685.0403
Dept. of Astronomy
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-1580
3910 15th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98195-1580
I got my undergrad degree from DePauw University in Greencastle IN in 1998 after which I moved on to get my PhD in physics doing astronomical research on the properties of Abell Clusters at the University of Maine in 2004. Since then, I spent some time at Pitt where I worked on NVO related projects, Google Sky, and filaments in numerical simulations. Since moving to the University of Washington in 2007, I've gotten interested in survey planning, data reduction, and simulation. Interests other than work include canoeing, hiking in the Cascades and Olympics, Ultimate, and spending time with the fam.
Searching for transients in galaxy spectra
LSST Data Management and Image Simulation
Using the SDSS spectroscopic sample we are looking for transient signals using the PCA decomposition of the galaxy spectra. Specifically we are finding type Ia supernovae superimposed on the host galaxy spectrum. Using this sample of SNe we have been able to calculate the nearby type Ia supernova rate.
One of my main interests is facilitating research in the era of big data in astronomy. As datasets (both catalog and imagery) grow to sizes too large to harbor effectively on a single desktop machine, the astronomical community must rethink how things get done. In an effort to probe new ways to do things, I've been involved in several projects to put exploratory science on the web (where it belongs).
Web Enabled Source Identification with X-Matching is a proof of concept project to demonstrate how several NVO produced protocols and tools can be linked together to provide increased functionality. In the case of WESIX, the source identification tool SExtractor and the cross matching tool OpenSkyQuery are glued together using some Java and JSP to provide a tool for identifying sources and getting their counterparts from another catalog in one (relatively) simple step.
Another aspect of research facilitation is the simplification and distribution of data access portals. The Pitt/CMU Value Added Catalog (VAC) is an attempt to make the SDSS spectroscopic data products more accessible. It is also an intended to simplify aggregation of value added products by providing an upload page where new calculated quantities can be matched to the catalog.
The management of data coming from the LSST will be a colossal undertaking. 40TB of imagery will be generated every night with expected alert times of 60s after shutter close. These extreme requirements on the processing pipeline produce many interesting problems in all facets including reduction, distribution, storage, querying, and analysis. My current work in this area is focused on the removal of instrumental signatures from the imagery as it comes of the camera. I am also working with several people in the SSG group to construct a database of everything in the sky that will have temporal and spacial information. The idea is that we will be able to ask our "COSMO" database for a particular time and get back a catalog of sources including realistic galactic (stellar), extragalactic (novae, agn, other), and solar system (moving objects) variability.