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Published August 21, 2014 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

Implementation of an F-statistic all-sky search for continuous gravitational waves in Virgo VSR1 data


We present an implementation of the F-statistic to carry out the first search in data from the Virgo laser interferometric gravitational wave detector for periodic gravitational waves from a priori unknown, isolated rotating neutron stars. We searched a frequency f_0 range from 100 Hz to 1 kHz and the frequency dependent spindown f_1 range from -1.6(f_0/100 Hz) x 10^(-9) Hz s^(−1) to zero. A large part of this frequency–spindown space was unexplored by any of the all-sky searches published so far. Our method consisted of a coherent search over two-day periods using the F-statistic, followed by a search for coincidences among the candidates from the two-day segments. We have introduced a number of novel techniques and algorithms that allow the use of the fast Fourier transform (FFT) algorithm in the coherent part of the search resulting in a fifty-fold speed-up in computation of the F-statistic with respect to the algorithm used in the other pipelines. No significant gravitational wave signal was found. The sensitivity of the search was estimated by injecting signals into the data. In the most sensitive parts of the detector band more than 90% of signals would have been detected with dimensionless gravitational-wave amplitude greater than 5 x 10^(-24).

Additional Information

© 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 7 March 2014; Revised 16 June 2014; Accepted for publication 2 July 2014; Published 5 August 2014. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction and operation of the GEO600 detector, and the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the research by these agencies and by the Australian Research Council, the International Science Linkages program of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare of Italy, the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, the Conselleria dʼEconomia Hisenda i Innovació of the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the FOCUS Programme of Foundation for Polish Science, the PL-Grid Infrastructure, the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Carnegie Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Research Corporation, and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation. This document has been assigned LIGO Laboratory document number LIGO-P1300133.

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