The National Science Foundation awarded funding to a set of coordinated proposals submitted by members of the Cosmic Explorer Project — a significant level of support totaling approximately $9M USD over the coming three years. The twelve institutions that will be supported by these awards have a diverse and geographically broad span; they are Bard College, California State University Fullerton, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Penn State University, University of California Riverside, Syracuse University, the University of Arizona, the University of Florida, the University of Minnesota, the University of Oregon, and the University of Washington Bothell.
The four funded awards are
- “Launching the Cosmic Explorer Conceptual Design”. (NSF Award 2309064)
- “Collaborative Research: Identifying and Evaluating Sites for Cosmic Explorer.” (NSF Awards 2308985, 2308986, 2308987, 2308988, 2308989, 2308990)
- “Cosmic Explorer Optical Design.”
(NSF awards: 2309265, 2309266, 2309267, 2309268)
- “Enabling Megawatt Optical Power in Cosmic Explorer.”
(NSF Awards 2309006 and 2309007)
and two proposals were recommended for funding:
- “Local Gravity Disturbances and Next-Generation Gravitational-Wave Astrophysics.”
- “Cosmic Explorer: Research and Conceptual Designs for Scattered-Light Mitigation.”
In addition to these ‘Project’ oriented awards, the NSF and other funding agencies are supporting a broad range of activities supporting the Cosmic Explorer concept and the observational science that can be anticipated. These include:
- “Center for Coatings Research” (Stanford University, Syracuse University, University of Florida, American University, Embry-Riddle, University of California, Berkeley, Colorado State University, CSULA, and Hobart and William Smith.) NSF Awards 2309289, 2309290, 2309291, 2309292, 2309293, 2309294, 2309295, 2309296, 2309297.
- “Neutron stars and gravitational waves from LIGO to Cosmic Explorer” (Texas Tech University). NSF Award 2309305.
- “Cosmic Collisions, Relativistic Blasts, and their Remnants in the Era of Multi-Messenger Astronomy” (Texas Tech University). NSF Award 2307358.
US collaborators include members of the Cosmic Explorer Project and Consortium and international collaborators in the UK, Germany, Australia, and Canada. These efforts will make major steps toward the realization of Cosmic Explorer and contribute to the Cosmic Explorer Conceptual Design. As part of the UK contribution, UKRI have announced the award of funding (£8M over 4 financial years from FY2023/24) from its infrastructure Fund for a scoping project (“Next-gen GW: the next generation gravitational wave infrastructure”) to enable conceptual design of instrumental and computational technologies for next-generation GW infrastructures, supporting the work of a consortium of 7 UK Universities.