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Gravitational-wave Geodesy: A New Tool for Validating Detection of the Stochastic Gravitational-wave Background

Callister, T. A. and Coughlin, M. W. and Kanner, J. B. (2018) Gravitational-wave Geodesy: A New Tool for Validating Detection of the Stochastic Gravitational-wave Background. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 869 (2). Art. No. L28. ISSN 2041-8213. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aaf3a5.

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A valuable target for advanced gravitational-wave detectors is the stochastic gravitational-wave background. The stochastic background imparts a weak correlated signal into networks of gravitational-wave detectors, and so standard searches for the gravitational-wave background rely on measuring cross-correlations between pairs of widely separated detectors. Stochastic searches, however, can be affected by any other correlated effects that may also be present, including correlated frequency combs and magnetic Schumann resonances. As stochastic searches become sensitive to ever-weaker signals, it is increasingly important to develop methods to separate a true astrophysical signal from other spurious and/or terrestrial signals. Here, we describe a novel method to achieve this goal—gravitational-wave geodesy. Just as radio geodesy allows for the localization of radio telescopes, so too can observations of the gravitational-wave background be used to infer the positions and orientations of gravitational-wave detectors. By demanding that a true observation of the gravitational-wave background yield constraints that are consistent with the baseline's known geometry, we demonstrate that we can successfully validate true observations of the gravitational-wave background while rejecting spurious signals due to correlated terrestrial effects.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Callister, T. A.0000-0001-9892-177X
Coughlin, M. W.0000-0002-8262-2924
Kanner, J. B.0000-0001-8115-0577
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 August 13; revised 2018 November 20; accepted 2018 November 23; published 2018 December 14. We would like to thank Sharan Banagiri, Jan Harms, Andrew Matas, Joe Romano, Colm Talbot, Steve Taylor, Eric Thrane, Alan Weinstein, and members of the LIGO/Virgo Stochastic Data Analysis Group for useful comments and conversation. We also thank our anonymous referees, whose feedback has greatly enhanced the quality and content of the text. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation and operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0757058. M.C. was supported by the David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. This paper carries LIGO Document Number LIGO-P1800226.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Ellen Lee Postdoctoral ScholarshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:gravitational waves – methods: data analysis – methods: statistical
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
LIGO DocumentLIGO-P1800226
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181217-083056468
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:T. A. Callister et al 2018 ApJL 869 L28
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91850
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Dec 2018 18:13
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:44

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