A web based portal for COMPAS

CI: – Dr. S. Stevenson


The key goal of this project is to reduce the barrier-to-entry for using COMPAS models to understand the formation of gravitational-wave mergers. We aim to do this by developing a web based portal for users to interact with COMPAS results. The two main aims of this project are:

1. Develop an interactive database of published COMPAS models. This will allow the user to quickly search and download pre-existing data, and make (or load pre-made) plots showing results (e.g. black hole masses). This would allow users to reuse existing datasets, saving on computational resources.

2. Allow users to run COMPAS to model the evolution of a given binary star system, by inputting chosen initial binary parameters into a web form. The output would be a file with the evolutionary data, as well as a graphical depiction of the binary’s lifetime, showing key evolutionary phases such as mass transfer, common envelope and supernovae.


Gravitational-wave astronomy is one of the newest and most exciting fields of astronomy, with new observation driven revelations occuring on a regular basis. Gravitational-wave observations have the potential to inform our understanding of massive stellar and binary evolution.

Expected outcomes

We expect the outcome of this project to be an interactive web based portal that allows users to easily interact with a public database. This will allow users to quickly understand how recently observed gravitational-wave sources could have formed through isolated binary evolution. We anticipate that the success of this project will increase the visibility of COMPAS results in the gravitational-wave astrophysics community and the broader astrophysics community, in turn leading to a wider uptake of COMPAS and future improvements and developments.

Computational resources

A web server will be required to run the data portal.

Computational approach

COMPAS (https://compas.science/) is a rapid binary population synthesis suite capable of simulating the evolution of a massive binary in a fraction of a second. COMPAS has been used in more than 15 publications, is well tested, and is publicly available.

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