Method to detect gravitational waves from an ensemble of known pulsars

Fan, X., Chen, Y. and Messenger, C. (2016) Method to detect gravitational waves from an ensemble of known pulsars. Physical Review D, 94(8), 084029. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.94.084029)

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Combining information from weak sources, such as known pulsars, for gravitational wave detection, is an attractive approach to improve detection efficiency. We propose an optimal statistic for a general ensemble of signals and apply it to an ensemble of known pulsars. Our method combines F-statistic values from individual pulsars using weights proportional to each pulsar’s expected optimal signal-to-noise ratio to improve the detection efficiency. We also point out that to detect at least one pulsar within an ensemble, different thresholds should be designed for each source based on the expected signal strength. The performance of our proposed detection statistic is demonstrated using simulated sources, with the assumption that all pulsar ellipticities belong to a common (yet unknown) distribution. Comparing with an equal-weight strategy and with individual source approaches, we show that the weighted combination of all known pulsars, where weights are assigned based on the pulsars’ known information, such as sky location, frequency and distance, as well as the detector sensitivity, always provides a more sensitive detection statistic.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Gravitational waves.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Messenger, Dr Christopher and Fan, Dr Xilong
Authors: Fan, X., Chen, Y., and Messenger, C.
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Research Centre:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy > Institute for Gravitational Research
Research Group:Institute for Gravitational Research
Journal Name:Physical Review D
Journal Abbr.:Phys. Rev. D
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):2470-0029
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review D 94(8): 084029
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
624341Investigations in Gravitational Radiation / Particle Astrophysics Capital equipmentSheila RowanScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L000946/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY