getting funded

A few years ago, I modified The Rules (at right) to permit discussion of proposal writing and related fundraising. I am glad I did that, because otherwise quite a few days might be labeled "not research". Today Foreman-Mackey and I put in a full weekend day on proposal-writing. The big one is for the (excellent, valuable, and influential) NASA Astrophysical Data Analysis Program. This program capitalizes on NASA's public archival data sets by providing funding for individual-investigator re-analyses.

Foreman-Mackey and I are proposing to re-analyze the Kepler data, of course, in order to make it more sensitive (to exoplanets and stellar variability) and more precise. We have four approaches: The first is to build a data-driven pixel-level calibration of the device, in which we use covariances across pixels to model all spacecraft-induced variability. The second is my optimized weighted linear (OWL) photometry, that produces (under strong assumptions) optimal signal-to-noise photometry from the data. The third is our Gaussian-Process code to model stellar (and residual spacecraft) variability or (equivalently) to generalize our exoplanet-transit likelihood function. The fourth is our nascent project to fully model the Kepler focal plane, including point-spread function, sub-pixel flat-field, and the spacecraft Euler Angles. We wrote like the wind.

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