Parameter estimation for binary neutron-star coalescences with realistic noise during the Advanced LIGO era

Berry, C. P.L. et al. (2015) Parameter estimation for binary neutron-star coalescences with realistic noise during the Advanced LIGO era. Astrophysical Journal, 804(2), 114. (doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/804/2/114)

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Advanced ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors begin operation imminently. Their intended goal is not only to make the first direct detection of GWs, but also to make inferences about the source systems. Binary neutron-star mergers are among the most promising sources. We investigate the performance of the parameter-estimation (PE) pipeline that will be used during the first observing run of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (aLIGO) in 2015: we concentrate on the ability to reconstruct the source location on the sky, but also consider the ability to measure masses and the distance. Accurate, rapid sky localization is necessary to alert electromagnetic (EM) observatories so that they can perform follow-up searches for counterpart transient events. We consider PE accuracy in the presence of non-stationary, non-Gaussian noise. We find that the character of the noise makes negligible difference to the PE performance at a given signal-to-noise ratio. The source luminosity distance can only be poorly constrained, since the median 90% (50%) credible interval scaled with respect to the true distance is 0.85 (0.38). However, the chirp mass is well measured. Our chirp-mass estimates are subject to systematic error because we used gravitational-waveform templates without component spin to carry out inference on signals with moderate spins, but the total error is typically less than ${{10}^{-3}}\;{{M}_{\odot }}$. The median 90% (50%) credible region for sky localization is $\sim 600\;{{{\rm deg} }^{2}}$ ($\sim 150\;{{{\rm deg} }^{2}}$), with 3% (30%) of detected events localized within $100\;{{{\rm deg} }^{2}}.$ Early aLIGO, with only two detectors, will have a sky-localization accuracy for binary neutron stars of hundreds of square degrees; this makes EM follow-up challenging, but not impossible.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Veitch, Dr John and Berry, Dr Christopher
Authors: Berry, C. P.L., Mandel, I., Middleton, H., Singer, L. P., Urban, A. L., Vecchio, A., Vitale, S., Cannon, K., Farr, B., Farr, W. M., Graff, P. B., Hanna, C., Haster, C.-J., Mohapatra, S., Pankow, C., Price, L. R., Sidery, T., and Veitch, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
ISSN (Online):1538-4357
Published Online:11 May 2015

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