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Journal Article

Best network chirplet chain: Near-optimal coherent detection of unmodeled gravitational wave chirps with a network of detectors


Pai,  Archana
Theoretical Gravitational Wave Physics, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Pai, A., Chassande-Mottin, E., & Rabaste, O. (2008). Best network chirplet chain: Near-optimal coherent detection of unmodeled gravitational wave chirps with a network of detectors. Physical Review D, 77(6): 062005. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.77.062005.

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The searches of impulsive gravitational waves (GW) in the data of the ground-based interferometers focus essentially on two types of waveforms: short unmodeled bursts from supernova core collapses and frequency modulated signals (or chirps) from inspiralling compact binaries. There is room for other types of searches based on different models. Our objective is to fill this gap. More specifically, we are interested in GW chirps “in general,” i.e., with an arbitrary phase/frequency vs time evolution. These unmodeled GW chirps may be considered as the generic signature of orbiting or spinning sources. We expect the quasiperiodic nature of the waveform to be preserved independently of the physics which governs the source motion. Several methods have been introduced to address the detection of unmodeled chirps using the data of a single detector. Those include the best chirplet chain (BCC) algorithm introduced by the authors. In the next years, several detectors will be in operation. Improvements can be expected from the joint observation of a GW by multiple detectors and the coherent analysis of their data, namely, a larger sight horizon and the more accurate estimation of the source location and the wave polarization angles. Here, we present an extension of the BCC search to the multiple detector case. This work is based on the coherent analysis scheme proposed in the detection of inspiralling binary chirps. We revisit the derivation of the optimal statistic with a new formalism which allows the adaptation to the detection of unmodeled chirps. The method amounts to searching for salient paths in the combined time-frequency representation of two synthetic streams. The latter are time series which combine the data from each detector linearly in such a way that all the GW signatures received are added constructively. We give a proof of principle for the full-sky blind search in a simplified situation which shows that the joint estimation of the source sky location and chirp frequency is possible.