The aim of this project is to advance the state-of-the-art by including coupled radiation and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) physics with dynamic general relativistic (GR) gravity in our simulation codes. We intend to research and develop a powerful new computational tool to simulate relativistic radiation-MHD coupled systems. We will perform cutting-edge simulations of accreting black holes to learn about the fundamental nature of these important astrophysical sources, and to provide observers and mission teams with improved theoretical predictions. The new software will be employed to produce realistic time-varying spectra of accretion disks around binary black holes (BBHs), the environments of neutron star (NS) mergers (e.g., GW170817), gamma-ray bursts, and single black hole (BH) accretion disks (active galactic nuclei, X-ray binaries, tidal disruption events). A key component of our project will be to develop an interface between simulation data and analysis tools used by astronomers at GSFC and world-wide. Specifically, we will develop a system for incorporating our ab initio simulated spectra into Xspec to provide the ability to compare observational data to our spectra with minimal assumptions and systematic error. Xspec is the principal tool used world-wide to analyze X-ray spectra.More »
The successful outcome of the project will significantly strengthen NASA’s theoretical and simulation capabilities and the software will be used to study systems relevant to a number of NASA's missions, thereby augmenting the science reward of present/future missions, providing multi-messenger/multi-wavelength synergy across a portfolio of NASA missions, and reducing uncertainty in concept studies with our improved simulation ability. Because of the code’s applicability to astrophysics of broad interest, our project will significantly impact the science outcomes of multiple missions of interest to NASA (present and future), such as LISA, Swift, Fermi, Chandra, Hubble, Athena, XRISM, NICER, and WFIRST.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Greenbelt, Maryland|
We successfully implemented a novel computational method for simulating fully coupled radiation-magnetohydrodynamics systems that occur in strong-field and dynamical regimes of gravity. The new method passes a series of tests to validate its implementation and measure its accuracy. Simulated x-ray spectra generated from an approximately coupled radiation-magnetohydrodynamics version have been incorporated into Xspec and used to measure NuSTAR's response to it. The new code will be used to simulate accreting binary black holes, post-merger disks from neutron star merger events, and accretion flows from active galactic nuclei and x-ray binaries.
The purpose of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program is to support new technology development and to address scientific challenges. Each year, Principal Investigators (PIs) submit IRAD proposals and compete for funding for their development projects. Goddard’s IRAD program supports eight Lines of Business: Astrophysics; Communications and Navigation; Cross-Cutting Technology and Capabilities; Earth Science; Heliophysics; Planetary Science; Science Small Satellites Technology; and Suborbital Platforms and Range Services.
Task progress is evaluated twice a year at the Mid-term IRAD review and the end of the year. When the funding period has ended, the PIs compete again for IRAD funding or seek new sources of development and research funding, or agree to external partnerships and collaborations. In some cases, when the development work has reached the appropriate Technology Readiness Level (TRL) level, the product is integrated into an actual NASA mission or used to support other government agencies. The technology may also be licensed out to the industry.
The completion of a project does not necessarily indicate that the development work has stopped. The work could potentially continue in the future as a follow-on IRAD; or be used in collaboration or partnership with Academia, Industry, and other Government Agencies.
If you are interested in partnering with NASA, see the TechPort Partnerships documentation available on the TechPort Help tab. http://techport.nasa.gov/help