On February 11, 2016 the Laser Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific collaboration issued a press release announcing the detection of gravitational waves, 100 years after Einstein’s prediction.This fantastic news opens an unprecedented new window into the cosmos and obviously created a significant amount of excitement within the research community. eZuce sends its warmest congratulations to all involved in this unique and unprecedented achievement. Our collaboration with LIGO started in 2008 when the observatory reached its target sensitivity and we knew then that the detection of a gravitational wave event could come at any time. At that time, there were approximately 600 scientists (today over a 1,000) from all around the world (USA, Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Russia, and the United Kingdom) making up the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC). A remote participation group selected EVO/SeeVoghRN (now called eZuce SRN) as part of their investigation for a possible internet based video collaboration system in support of LIGO’s remote activities. Learn more about the evolution of the SRN here.The main motivators were to
- Reduce travel and associated costs
- Engage students and professors to participate during the academic year remotely from campus
- Enable large scale remote participation to create synergy and make the collaboration more effective and economically beneficial
As a result, a dedicated virtual SRN community named LSC was created for these purposes.This SRN/LSC community was basically a shared virtual space which allowed every member (scientists, professors, post-docs, students, ..) to initiate virtual meetings whenever needed (reserved or ad-hoc), to perform personal and group chat sessions, to run video and/or audio only group meetings, to record important collaborative sessions, to organize break-out virtual meeting rooms during the annual conference presenting progress and results. Over the years, we witnessed significant usage of collaborative sessions between all the members of the LIGO community with an average of several hundred meetings hosted every month. Today, we are delighted that our video collaboration platform and associated services (i.e. eZuce SRN) played a role in fostering remote participation, research activity, interaction and innovation among the LIGO members who were able to build and operate this incredible observatory that led to the detection of gravitational waves. Kudos to LIGO !