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Gamma-ray bursts are among the most violent events observed in the universe; their progenitors are most likely the coalescence of a neutron star with another neutron star or black hole, and extreme cases of stellar core-collapse. Both progenitors should also emit copious amounts of gravitational waves. We discuss the astrophysics of these progenitors and describe two gravitational wave searches tailored towards each progenitor. We present the results of these searches in the 2009-2010 data from the LIGO and Virgo network of gravitational wave detectors, and discuss prospects of future observations in the advanced gravitational wave detectors era.
We present the performance of searches for gravitational wave bursts associated with external astrophysical triggers as a function of the search sky region. We discuss both the case of Gaussian noise and real noise of gravitational wave detectors for arbitrary detector networks. We demonstrate the ability to reach Gaussian limited sensitivity in real non-Gaussian data, and show the conditions required to attain it. We find that a single sky position search is ~20% more sensitive than an all-sky search of the same data.
Performance of gravitational wave (GW) detectors can be characterized by several figures of merit (FOMs) which are used to guide the detector's commissioning and operations, and to gauge astrophysical sensitivity. One key FOM is the range in Mpc, averaged over orientation and sky location, at which a GW signal from binary neutron star inspiral and coalescence would have a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 8 in a single detector. This fixed-SNR approach does not accurately reflect the effects of transient noise (glitches), which can severely limit the detectability of transient GW signals expected from a variety of astrophysical sources. We propose a FOM based instead on a fixed false-alarm probability (FAP). This is intended to give a more realistic estimate of the detectable GW transient range including the effect of glitches. Our approa...
Time shifting the output of gravitational wave detectors operating in coincidence is a convenient way of estimating the background in a search for short-duration signals. In this paper, we show how non-stationary data affect the background estimation precision. We present a method of measuring the fluctuations of the data and computing its effects on a coincident search. In particular, we show that for fluctuations of moderate amplitude, time slides larger than the fluctuation time scales can be used. We also recall how the false alarm variance saturates with the number of time shifts.
We present the results of a LIGO search for gravitational waves (GWs) associated with GRB 051103, a short-duration hard-spectrum gamma-ray burst whose electromagnetically determined sky position is coincident with the spiral galaxy M81, which is 3.6Mpc from Earth. Possible progenitors for short-hard GRBs include compact object mergers and soft gamma repeater (SGR) giant flares. A merger progenitor would produce a characteristic GW signal that should be detectable at the distance of M81, while GW emission from an SGR is not expected to be detectable at that distance. We found no evidence of a GW signal associated with GRB 051103. Assuming weakly beamed gamma-ray emission with a jet semi-angle of 30. we exclude a binary neutron star merger in M81 as the progenitor with a confidence of 98%. Neutron star-black hole mergers are excluded wit...
Performance of gravitational wave (GW) detectors can be characterized by several figures of merit (FOMs) which are used to guide the detector's commissioning and operations, and to gauge astrophysical sensitivity. One key FOM is the range in Mpc, averaged over orientation and sky location, at which a GW signal from binary neutron star inspiral and coalescence would have a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 8 in a single detector. This fixed-SNR approach does not accurately reflect the effects of transient noise (glitches), which can severely limit the detectability of transient GW signals expected from a variety of astrophysical sources. We propose a FOM based instead on a fixed false-alarm probability (FAP). This is intended to give a more realistic estimate of the detectable GW transient range including the effect of glitches. Our approa...
Autonomous gravitational-wave searches -- fully automated analyses of data that run without human intervention or assistance -- are desirable for a number of reasons. They are necessary for the rapid identification of gravitational-wave burst candidates, which in turn will allow for follow-up observations by other observatories and the maximum exploitation of their scientific potential. A fully automated analysis would also circumvent the traditional "by hand" setup and tuning of burst searches that is both labourious and time consuming. We demonstrate a fully automated search with X-Pipeline, a software package for the coherent analysis of data from networks of interferometers for detecting bursts associated with GRBs and other astrophysical triggers. We discuss the methods X-Pipeline uses for automated running, including background e...
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