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Published April 15, 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

Long gravitational-wave transients and associated detection strategies for a network of terrestrial interferometers


Searches for gravitational waves (GWs) traditionally focus on persistent sources (e.g., pulsars or the stochastic background) or on transients sources (e.g., compact binary inspirals or core-collapse supernovae), which last for time scales of milliseconds to seconds. We explore the possibility of long GW transients with unknown waveforms lasting from many seconds to weeks. We propose a novel analysis technique to bridge the gap between short O(s) "burst" analyses and persistent stochastic analyses. Our technique utilizes frequency-time maps of GW strain cross power between two spatially separated terrestrial GW detectors. The application of our cross power statistic to searches for GW transients is framed as a pattern recognition problem, and we discuss several pattern-recognition techniques. We demonstrate these techniques by recovering simulated GW signals in simulated detector noise. We also recover environmental noise artifacts, thereby demonstrating a novel technique for the identification of such artifacts in GW interferometers. We compare the efficiency of this framework to other techniques such as matched filtering.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Physical Society. Received 9 December 2010; published 11 April 2011. This work was supported by NSF Grant No. PHY-0854790, PHY-0758035 AST-0855535, OCI-0905046, PHY-0960291 and PHY-0970074. S.G. acknowledges the support of the Max Planck Gesellschaft. P. R. acknowledges the support of the Hungarian National Office for Research and Technology (NKTH) through the Polanyi program (Grant No. KFKT-2006-01-0012). This paper has been assigned LIGO document number LIGOP1000124.

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