Advanced LIGO subsystems
are the organizational units of the overall project. Follow the links below to view the mission and progress of each subsystem.

Auxiliary Optics Core Optics
Data Acquisition Data and
Input Optics

LIGO Technology Development and Migration

Explore the menu of case study links (left) to view impacts of LIGO technology across the broader science and engineering community.

Technology Type:  Distributed Computing

Federated Identity Management for Large Distributed Science Communities

** Architect:  Scott Koranda
** Contact:  Scott Koranda
** Supporting Agency:  National Science Foundation
** Technology Source:  Advanced LIGO

[distro]How many IDs and passwords do you need to remember? To buy an ebook, stream a movie, or download that latest app often means logging in with different IDs. Your bank, health insurance company, and physician offer the convenience of online services but each requires a separate ID, and smart online users create a unique ID/password combination for every site to protect themselves. The more you do online the more combinations there are to jot down on that sticky note pasted to your computer screen. Managing so many IDs and keeping your online accounts safe slows you down and is no fun.

Today’s scientists and engineers face a similar challenge. Increasingly their research involves widespread collaborations. As they work with colleagues across disciplines and projects they typically access online resources both inside and outside their collaborations. [sk]All these services required the use of yet another ID and password, and scientists soon realized they were doing more systems administration than science. Each group hosting an online scientific tool or service also found itself expending valuable time resetting passwords and providing other support for users managing so many IDs.

The tools of ”federated identity management” and ”single sign-on” software like Shibboleth from the Internet2 project remove this burden and enable efficient online collaboration by allowing users a single ID and password to access resources both within and outside an organization.

Developed initially for use within higher education and universities, LIGO is leading the effort to bring the benefits of federated identity management to large scientific research organizations and projects. LIGO has joined the InCommon identity federation in the U.S. and is working to integrate with identity federations in Europe, Japan, Australia, and Canada. Integrating the LIGO computing infrastructure with these identity federations enables scientists who wish to collaborate with LIGO to use their existing login and password to access LIGO resources.

Enabling access by using a federated identity solves part of the problem. A larger challenge is to efficiently manage authorization to those web services and applications scientists need for productive collaborations. Equally important is to provide scientists the power to quickly create their own virtual groups and to manage user access to web pages, wikis, email lists, software repositories and other tools needed to support their projects. A few researchers joining to work together should be able with a few mouse clicks to create these and other necessary tools, and with a few clicks more to securely share their workspace with collaborators.

LIGO, together with Internet2, the iPlant Collaborative, and Project Bamboo and funded by the National Science Foundation, is building COmanage: a tool for collaborative organizations to manage effective and secure access to applications and services. Soon when LIGO and iPlant researchers collaborate with outside colleagues they will be able to create workspaces that include wikis, email lists, calendars, software repositories, and other applications. This means more freedom to share and collaborate without the intervention of system administrators. COmanage has been designed and is in development to support researchers from all disciplines and to foster more productive collaborations.

Explore Advanced LIGO    Construction Schedule
   Instrumentation and Astrophysics
   An Overview of the Upgrades
   The International Partnership
   Science Impacts
   LIGO Technology Transfers
   LIGO Scientific Collaboration
   Public Outreach
   LIGO Magazine
   aLIGO Home