The ENGRAVE (Electro-magnetic counterparts of gravitational waves at the Very Large Telescope) project was founded on 28th February 2018, with the establishment of the Governing Council and a set of founding principles.
ENGRAVE represents major groups across ESO member states that have formed over the last few years to use the VLT (and ESO’s 2-4m telescopes) for follow-up study of the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves. The overarching goal is a consortium that will apply for a Large multi-period ESO programme (Target of Opportunity) on the VLT targeting optical to mid-infrared follow-up of merging compact sources (NS-NS, NS-BH, BH-BH) as well as other gravitational wave (burst-type) events detected by the LIGO/Virgo consortium. We will normally target gravitational event triggers but will also follow-up likely kilonova candidates within the LIGO-Virgo horizon distance if they are independently identified (e.g. by an optical survey).
The founding members of ENGRAVE were Marica Branchesi, Enzo Brocato, Paolo D’Avanzo, Paul Groot, Jens Hjorth, Peter Jonker, Elena Pian, Stephen Smartt, Jesper Sollerman, Danny Steeghs, Nial Tanvir.