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Gravitational-wave astronomy with an uncertain noise power spectral density

Talbot, Colm and Thrane, Eric (2020) Gravitational-wave astronomy with an uncertain noise power spectral density. Physical Review Research, 2 (4). Art. No. 043298. ISSN 2643-1564. doi:10.1103/PhysRevResearch.2.043298.

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In order to extract information about the properties of compact binaries, we must estimate the noise power spectral density of gravitational-wave data, which depends on the properties of the gravitational-wave detector. In practice, it is not possible to know this perfectly, only to estimate it from the data. Multiple estimation methods are commonly used, and each has a corresponding statistical uncertainty. However, this uncertainty is widely ignored when measuring the physical parameters describing compact binary coalescences, and the appropriate likelihoods which account for the uncertainty are not well known. In order to perform increasingly precise astrophysical inference and model selection, it will be essential to account for this uncertainty. In this work, we derive the correct likelihood for one of the most widely used estimation methods in gravitational-wave transient analysis, the median average. We demonstrate that simulated Gaussian noise follows the predicted distributions. We then examine real gravitational-wave data at and around the time of GW151012, a relatively low-significance binary black hole merger event. We find that the difference in our inference when using different PSD estimation techniques is larger than the predicted statistical uncertainty.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Talbot, Colm0000-0003-2053-5582
Thrane, Eric0000-0002-4418-3895
Additional Information:© 2020 Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. Received 16 June 2020; revised 18 September 2020; accepted 3 November 2020; published 1 December 2020. We thank Sharan Banagiri, Sylvia Biscoveanu, Katerina Chatziioannou, Pat Meyers, Joe Romano, and Alan Weinstein for helpful discussions and comments on the manuscript. C.T. and E.T. are supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) CE170100004. C.T. acknowledges the support of the National Science Foundation and the LIGO Laboratory. E.T. is supported by ARC FT150100281. This research has made use of data, software and/or web tools obtained from the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center [45,46,48], a service of LIGO Laboratory, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration. LIGO is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Virgo is funded by the French Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Italian Istituto Nazionale della Fisica Nucleare (INFN), and the Dutch Nikhef, with contributions by Polish and Hungarian institutes. The authors are grateful for computational resources provided by the LIGO Lab and supported by National Science Foundation Grants No. PHY-0757058 and No. PHY-0823459.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilCE170100004
Australian Research CouncilFT150100281
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200824-124809636
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105076
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Aug 2020 20:05
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:39

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