results for au:Accadia_T in:gr-qc

- Oct 29 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1410.7764v2In 2009-2010, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observa- tory (LIGO) operated together with international partners Virgo and GEO600 as a network to search for gravitational waves of astrophysical origin. The sensitiv- ity of these detectors was limited by a combination of noise sources inherent to the instrumental design and its environment, often localized in time or frequency, that couple into the gravitational-wave readout. Here we review the performance of the LIGO instruments during this epoch, the work done to characterize the de- tectors and their data, and the effect that transient and continuous noise artefacts have on the sensitivity of LIGO to a variety of astrophysical sources.
- Oct 24 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1410.6211v3Searches for a stochastic gravitational-wave background (SGWB) using terrestrial detectors typically involve cross-correlating data from pairs of detectors. The sensitivity of such cross-correlation analyses depends, among other things, on the separation between the two detectors: the smaller the separation, the better the sensitivity. Hence, a co-located detector pair is more sensitive to a gravitational-wave background than a non-co-located detector pair. However, co-located detectors are also expected to suffer from correlated noise from instrumental and environmental effects that could contaminate the measurement of the background. Hence, methods to identify and mitigate the effects of correlated noise are necessary to achieve the potential increase in sensitivity of co-located detectors. Here we report on the first SGWB analysis using the two LIGO Hanford detectors and address the complications arising from correlated environmental noise. We apply correlated noise identification and mitigation techniques to data taken by the two LIGO Hanford detectors, H1 and H2, during LIGO's fifth science run. At low frequencies, 40 - 460 Hz, we are unable to sufficiently mitigate the correlated noise to a level where we may confidently measure or bound the stochastic gravitational-wave signal. However, at high frequencies, 460-1000 Hz, these techniques are sufficient to set a $95%$ confidence level (C.L.) upper limit on the gravitational-wave energy density of \Omega(f)<7.7 x 10^-4 (f/ 900 Hz)^3, which improves on the previous upper limit by a factor of $\sim 180$. In doing so, we demonstrate techniques that will be useful for future searches using advanced detectors, where correlated noise (e.g., from global magnetic fields) may affect even widely separated detectors.
- Gravitational waves from a variety of sources are predicted to superpose to create a stochastic background. This background is expected to contain unique information from throughout the history of the universe that is unavailable through standard electromagnetic observations, making its study of fundamental importance to understanding the evolution of the universe. We carry out a search for the stochastic background with the latest data from LIGO and Virgo. Consistent with predictions from most stochastic gravitational-wave background models, the data display no evidence of a stochastic gravitational-wave signal. Assuming a gravitational-wave spectrum of Omega_GW(f)=Omega_alpha*(f/f_ref)^alpha, we place 95% confidence level upper limits on the energy density of the background in each of four frequency bands spanning 41.5-1726 Hz. In the frequency band of 41.5-169.25 Hz for a spectral index of alpha=0, we constrain the energy density of the stochastic background to be Omega_GW(f)<5.6x10^-6. For the 600-1000 Hz band, Omega_GW(f)<0.14*(f/900 Hz)^3, a factor of 2.5 lower than the best previously reported upper limits. We find Omega_GW(f)<1.8x10^-4 using a spectral index of zero for 170-600 Hz and Omega_GW(f)<1.0*(f/1300 Hz)^3 for 1000-1726 Hz, bands in which no previous direct limits have been placed. The limits in these four bands are the lowest direct measurements to date on the stochastic background. We discuss the implications of these results in light of the recent claim by the BICEP2 experiment of the possible evidence for inflationary gravitational waves.
- Jun 02 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1405.7904v2We present the first results of an all-sky search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown spinning neutron stars in binary systems using LIGO and Virgo data. Using a specially developed analysis program, the TwoSpect algorithm, the search was carried out on data from the sixth LIGO Science Run and the second and third Virgo Science Runs. The search covers a range of frequencies from 20 Hz to 520 Hz, a range of orbital periods from 2 to ~2,254 h and a frequency- and period-dependent range of frequency modulation depths from 0.277 to 100 mHz. This corresponds to a range of projected semi-major axes of the orbit from ~0.6e-3 ls to ~6,500 ls assuming the orbit of the binary is circular. While no plausible candidate gravitational wave events survive the pipeline, upper limits are set on the analyzed data. The most sensitive 95% confidence upper limit obtained on gravitational wave strain is 2.3e-24 at 217 Hz, assuming the source waves are circularly polarized. Although this search has been optimized for circular binary orbits, the upper limits obtained remain valid for orbital eccentricities as large as 0.9. In addition, upper limits are placed on continuous gravitational wave emission from the low-mass x-ray binary Scorpius X-1 between 20 Hz and 57.25 Hz.
- Apr 09 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1404.2199v4This paper reports on an unmodeled, all-sky search for gravitational waves from merging intermediate mass black hole binaries (IMBHB). The search was performed on data from the second joint science run of the LIGO and Virgo detectors (July 2009 - October 2010) and was sensitive to IMBHBs with a range up to $\sim 200$ Mpc, averaged over the possible sky positions and inclinations of the binaries with respect to the line of sight. No significant candidate was found. Upper limits on the coalescence-rate density of nonspinning IMBHBs with total masses between 100 and $450 \ \mbox{M}_{\odot}$ and mass ratios between $0.25$ and $1\,$ were placed by combining this analysis with an analogous search performed on data from the first LIGO-Virgo joint science run (November 2005 - October 2007). The most stringent limit was set for systems consisting of two $88 \ \mbox{M}_{\odot}$ black holes and is equal to $0.12 \ \mbox{Mpc}^{-3} \ \mbox{Myr}^{-1}$ at the $90\%$ confidence level. This paper also presents the first estimate, for the case of an unmodeled analysis, of the impact on the search range of IMBHB spin configurations: the visible volume for IMBHBs with nonspinning components is roughly doubled for a population of IMBHBs with spins aligned with the binary's orbital angular momentum and uniformly distributed in the dimensionless spin parameter up to 0.8, whereas an analogous population with antialigned spins decreases the visible volume by $\sim 20\%\,$.
- We present an implementation of the $\mathcal{F}$-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 $-1.6\,(f_0/100\,{\rm Hz}) \times 10^{-9}\,$ Hz/s 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 $\mathcal{F}$-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 $\mathcal{F}$-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 $5 \times 10^{-24}$.
- Jan 24 2014 gr-qc physics.ins-det arXiv:1401.6066v2The Virgo detector is a kilometer-scale interferometer for gravitational wave detection located near Pisa (Italy). About 13 months of data were accumulated during four science runs (VSR1, VSR2, VSR3 and VSR4) between May 2007 and September 2011, with increasing sensitivity. In this paper, the method used to reconstruct, in the range 10 Hz-10 kHz, the gravitational wave strain time series $h(t)$ from the detector signals is described. The standard consistency checks of the reconstruction are discussed and used to estimate the systematic uncertainties of the $h(t)$ signal as a function of frequency. Finally, an independent setup, the photon calibrator, is described and used to validate the reconstructed $h(t)$ signal and the associated uncertainties. The uncertainties of the $h(t)$ time series are estimated to be 8% in amplitude. The uncertainty of the phase of $h(t)$ is 50 mrad at 10 Hz with a frequency dependence following a delay of 8 $\mu$s at high frequency. A bias lower than $4\,\mathrm{\mu s}$ and depending on the sky direction of the GW is also present.
- Jan 07 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1401.0939v1The Numerical INJection Analysis (NINJA) project is a collaborative effort between members of the numerical relativity and gravitational-wave astrophysics communities. The purpose of NINJA is to study the ability to detect gravitational waves emitted from merging binary black holes and recover their parameters with next-generation gravitational-wave observatories. We report here on the results of the second NINJA project, NINJA-2, which employs 60 complete binary black hole hybrid waveforms consisting of a numerical portion modelling the late inspiral, merger, and ringdown stitched to a post-Newtonian portion modelling the early inspiral. In a "blind injection challenge" similar to that conducted in recent LIGO and Virgo science runs, we added 7 hybrid waveforms to two months of data recolored to predictions of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo sensitivity curves during their first observing runs. The resulting data was analyzed by gravitational-wave detection algorithms and 6 of the waveforms were recovered with false alarm rates smaller than 1 in a thousand years. Parameter estimation algorithms were run on each of these waveforms to explore the ability to constrain the masses, component angular momenta and sky position of these waveforms. We also perform a large-scale monte-carlo study to assess the ability to recover each of the 60 hybrid waveforms with early Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo sensitivity curves. Our results predict that early Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo will have a volume-weighted average sensitive distance of 300Mpc (1Gpc) for $10M_{\odot}+10M_{\odot}$ ($50M_{\odot}+50M_{\odot}$) binary black hole coalescences. We demonstrate that neglecting the component angular momenta in the waveform models used in matched-filtering will result in a reduction in sensitivity for systems with large component angular momenta. [Abstract abridged for ArXiv, full version in PDF]
- Nov 12 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1311.2409v3We report on an all-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency range $\mathrm{50-1000 Hz}$ with the first derivative of frequency in the range $-8.9 \times 10^{-10}$ Hz/s to zero in two years of data collected during LIGO's fifth science run. Our results employ a Hough transform technique, introducing a $\chi^2$ test and analysis of coincidences between the signal levels in years 1 and 2 of observations that offers a significant improvement in the product of strain sensitivity with compute cycles per data sample compared to previously published searches. Since our search yields no surviving candidates, we present results taking the form of frequency dependent, 95$%$ confidence upper limits on the strain amplitude $h_0$. The most stringent upper limit from year 1 is $1.0\times 10^{-24}$ in the $\mathrm{158.00-158.25 Hz}$ band. In year 2, the most stringent upper limit is $\mathrm{8.9\times10^{-25}}$ in the $\mathrm{146.50-146.75 Hz}$ band. This improved detection pipeline, which is computationally efficient by at least two orders of magnitude better than our flagship Einstein$@$Home search, will be important for "quick-look" searches in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detector era.
- Oct 10 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1310.2384v2Cosmic strings can give rise to a large variety of interesting astrophysical phenomena. Among them, powerful bursts of gravitational waves (GWs) produced by cusps are a promising observational signature. In this Letter we present a search for GWs from cosmic string cusps in data collected by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors between 2005 and 2010, with over 625 days of live time. We find no evidence of GW signals from cosmic strings. From this result, we derive new constraints on cosmic string parameters, which complement and improve existing limits from previous searches for a stochastic background of GWs from cosmic microwave background measurements and pulsar timing data. In particular, if the size of loops is given by the gravitational backreaction scale, we place upper limits on the string tension $G\mu$ below $10^{-8}$ in some regions of the cosmic string parameter space.
- Sep 25 2013 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1309.6160v3Long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been linked to extreme core-collapse supernovae from massive stars. Gravitational waves (GW) offer a probe of the physics behind long GRBs. We investigate models of long-lived (~10-1000s) GW emission associated with the accretion disk of a collapsed star or with its protoneutron star remnant. Using data from LIGO's fifth science run, and GRB triggers from the swift experiment, we perform a search for unmodeled long-lived GW transients. Finding no evidence of GW emission, we place 90% confidence level upper limits on the GW fluence at Earth from long GRBs for three waveforms inspired by a model of GWs from accretion disk instabilities. These limits range from F<3.5 ergs cm^-2 to $F<1200 ergs cm^-2, depending on the GRB and on the model, allowing us to probe optimistic scenarios of GW production out to distances as far as ~33 Mpc. Advanced detectors are expected to achieve strain sensitivities 10x better than initial LIGO, potentially allowing us to probe the engines of the nearest long GRBs.
- Sep 25 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1309.6221v2We present the results of a directed search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown, isolated neutron stars in the Galactic Center region, performed on two years of data from LIGO's fifth science run from two LIGO detectors. The search uses a semi-coherent approach, analyzing coherently 630 segments, each spanning 11.5 hours, and then incoherently combining the results of the single segments. It covers gravitational wave frequencies in a range from 78 to 496 Hz and a frequency-dependent range of first order spindown values down to -7.86 x 10^-8 Hz/s at the highest frequency. No gravitational waves were detected. We place 90% confidence upper limits on the gravitational wave amplitude of sources at the Galactic Center. Placing 90% confidence upper limits on the gravitational wave amplitude of sources at the Galactic Center, we reach ~3.35x10^-25 for frequencies near 150 Hz. These upper limits are the most constraining to date for a large-parameter-space search for continuous gravitational wave signals.
- Sep 17 2013 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1309.4027v3We present the results of searches for gravitational waves from a large selection of pulsars using data from the most recent science runs (S6, VSR2 and VSR4) of the initial generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory) and Virgo. We do not see evidence for gravitational wave emission from any of the targeted sources but produce upper limits on the emission amplitude. We highlight the results from seven young pulsars with large spin-down luminosities. We reach within a factor of five of the canonical spin-down limit for all seven of these, whilst for the Crab and Vela pulsars we further surpass their spin-down limits. We present new or updated limits for 172 other pulsars (including both young and millisecond pulsars). Now that the detectors are undergoing major upgrades, and, for completeness, we bring together all of the most up-to-date results from all pulsars searched for during the operations of the first-generation LIGO, Virgo and GEO600 detectors. This gives a total of 195 pulsars including the most recent results described in this paper.
- Apr 08 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1304.1775v4Compact binary systems with neutron stars or black holes are one of the most promising sources for ground-based gravitational wave detectors. Gravitational radiation encodes rich information about source physics; thus parameter estimation and model selection are crucial analysis steps for any detection candidate events. Detailed models of the anticipated waveforms enable inference on several parameters, such as component masses, spins, sky location and distance that are essential for new astrophysical studies of these sources. However, accurate measurements of these parameters and discrimination of models describing the underlying physics are complicated by artifacts in the data, uncertainties in the waveform models and in the calibration of the detectors. Here we report such measurements on a selection of simulated signals added either in hardware or software to the data collected by the two LIGO instruments and the Virgo detector during their most recent joint science run, including a "blind injection" where the signal was not initially revealed to the collaboration. We exemplify the ability to extract information about the source physics on signals that cover the neutron star and black hole parameter space over the individual mass range 1 Msun - 25 Msun and the full range of spin parameters. The cases reported in this study provide a snap-shot of the status of parameter estimation in preparation for the operation of advanced detectors.
- We report a search for gravitational waves from the inspiral, merger and ringdown of binary black holes (BBH) with total mass between 25 and 100 solar masses, in data taken at the LIGO and Virgo observatories between July 7, 2009 and October 20, 2010. The maximum sensitive distance of the detectors over this period for a (20,20) Msun coalescence was 300 Mpc. No gravitational wave signals were found. We thus report upper limits on the astrophysical coalescence rates of BBH as a function of the component masses for non-spinning components, and also evaluate the dependence of the search sensitivity on component spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum. We find an upper limit at 90% confidence on the coalescence rate of BBH with non-spinning components of mass between 19 and 28 Msun of 3.3 \times 10^-7 mergers /Mpc^3 /yr.
- Aug 01 2012 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1207.7176v2This paper presents results of an all-sky searches for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency range [50, 1190] Hz and with frequency derivative ranges of [-2 x 10^-9, 1.1 x 10^-10] Hz/s for the fifth LIGO science run (S5). The novelty of the search lies in the use of a non-coherent technique based on the Hough-transform to combine the information from coherent searches on timescales of about one day. Because these searches are very computationally intensive, they have been deployed on the Einstein@Home distributed computing project infrastructure. The search presented here is about a factor 3 more sensitive than the previous Einstein@Home search in early S5 LIGO data. The post-processing has left us with eight surviving candidates. We show that deeper follow-up studies rule each of them out. Hence, since no statistically significant gravitational wave signals have been detected, we report upper limits on the intrinsic gravitational wave amplitude h0. For example, in the 0.5 Hz-wide band at 152.5 Hz, we can exclude the presence of signals with h0 greater than 7.6 x 10^-25 with a 90% confidence level.
- May 11 2012 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1205.2216v3We present the results of a search for gravitational waves associated with 154 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) that were detected by satellite-based gamma-ray experiments in 2009-2010, during the sixth LIGO science run and the second and third Virgo science runs. We perform two distinct searches: a modeled search for coalescences of either two neutron stars or a neutron star and black hole; and a search for generic, unmodeled gravitational-wave bursts. We find no evidence for gravitational-wave counterparts, either with any individual GRB in this sample or with the population as a whole. For all GRBs we place lower bounds on the distance to the progenitor, under the optimistic assumption of a gravitational-wave emission energy of 10^-2 M c^2 at 150 Hz, with a median limit of 17 Mpc. For short hard GRBs we place exclusion distances on binary neutron star and neutron star-black hole progenitors, using astrophysically motivated priors on the source parameters, with median values of 16 Mpc and 28 Mpc respectively. These distance limits, while significantly larger than for a search that is not aided by GRB satellite observations, are not large enough to expect a coincidence with a GRB. However, projecting these exclusions to the sensitivities of Advanced LIGO and Virgo, which should begin operation in 2015, we find that the detection of gravitational waves associated with GRBs will become quite possible.
- May 08 2012 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1205.1124v2We present the first multi-wavelength follow-up observations of two candidate gravitational-wave (GW) transient events recorded by LIGO and Virgo in their 2009-2010 science run. The events were selected with low latency by the network of GW detectors and their candidate sky locations were observed by the Swift observatory. Image transient detection was used to analyze the collected electromagnetic data, which were found to be consistent with background. Off-line analysis of the GW data alone has also established that the selected GW events show no evidence of an astrophysical origin; one of them is consistent with background and the other one was a test, part of a "blind injection challenge". With this work we demonstrate the feasibility of rapid follow-ups of GW transients and establish the sensitivity improvement joint electromagnetic and GW observations could bring. This is a first step toward an electromagnetic follow-up program in the regime of routine detections with the advanced GW instruments expected within this decade. In that regime multi-wavelength observations will play a significant role in completing the astrophysical identification of GW sources. We present the methods and results from this first combined analysis and discuss its implications in terms of sensitivity for the present and future instruments.
- Mar 27 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1203.5613v2Between 2007 and 2010 Virgo collected data in coincidence with the LIGO and GEO gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. These data have been searched for GWs emitted by cataclysmic phenomena in the universe, by non-axisymmetric rotating neutron stars or from a stochastic background in the frequency band of the detectors. The sensitivity of GW searches is limited by noise produced by the detector or its environment. It is therefore crucial to characterize the various noise sources in a GW detector. This paper reviews the Virgo detector noise sources, noise propagation, and conversion mechanisms which were identified in the three first Virgo observing runs. In many cases, these investigations allowed us to mitigate noise sources in the detector, or to selectively flag noise events and discard them from the data. We present examples from the joint LIGO-GEO-Virgo GW searches to show how well noise transients and narrow spectral lines have been identified and excluded from the Virgo data. We also discuss how detector characterization can improve the astrophysical reach of gravitational-wave searches.
- Feb 14 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1202.2788v3We present results from a search for gravitational-wave bursts in the data collected by the LIGO and Virgo detectors between July 7, 2009 and October 20, 2010: data are analyzed when at least two of the three LIGO-Virgo detectors are in coincident operation, with a total observation time of 207 days. The analysis searches for transients of duration < 1 s over the frequency band 64-5000 Hz, without other assumptions on the signal waveform, polarization, direction or occurrence time. All identified events are consistent with the expected accidental background. We set frequentist upper limits on the rate of gravitational-wave bursts by combining this search with the previous LIGO-Virgo search on the data collected between November 2005 and October 2007. The upper limit on the rate of strong gravitational-wave bursts at the Earth is 1.3 events per year at 90% confidence. We also present upper limits on source rate density per year and Mpc^3 for sample populations of standard-candle sources. As in the previous joint run, typical sensitivities of the search in terms of the root-sum-squared strain amplitude for these waveforms lie in the range 5 10^-22 Hz^-1/2 to 1 10^-20 Hz^-1/2. The combination of the two joint runs entails the most sensitive all-sky search for generic gravitational-wave bursts and synthesizes the results achieved by the initial generation of interferometric detectors.
- Jan 31 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1201.5999v3We present the results of a weakly modeled burst search for gravitational waves from mergers of non-spinning intermediate mass black holes (IMBH) in the total mass range 100--450 solar masses and with the component mass ratios between 1:1 and 4:1. The search was conducted on data collected by the LIGO and Virgo detectors between November of 2005 and October of 2007. No plausible signals were observed by the search which constrains the astrophysical rates of the IMBH mergers as a function of the component masses. In the most efficiently detected bin centered on 88+88 solar masses, for non-spinning sources, the rate density upper limit is 0.13 per Mpc^3 per Myr at the 90% confidence level.
- Dec 22 2011 gr-qc arXiv:1112.5004v4A stochastic background of gravitational waves is expected to arise from a superposition of many incoherent sources of gravitational waves, of either cosmological or astrophysical origin. This background is a target for the current generation of ground-based detectors. In this article we present the first joint search for a stochastic background using data from the LIGO and Virgo interferometers. In a frequency band of 600-1000 Hz, we obtained a 95% upper limit on the amplitude of $\Omega_{\rm GW}(f) = \Omega_3 (f/900 \mathrm{Hz})^3$, of $\Omega_3 < 0.33$, assuming a value of the Hubble parameter of $h_{100}=0.72$. These new limits are a factor of seven better than the previous best in this frequency band.
- Dec 01 2011 gr-qc arXiv:1111.7314v4We report on a search for gravitational waves from coalescing compact binaries using LIGO and Virgo observations between July 7, 2009 and October 20, 2010. We searched for signals from binaries with total mass between 2 and 25 solar masses; this includes binary neutron stars, binary black holes, and binaries consisting of a black hole and neutron star. The detectors were sensitive to systems up to 40 Mpc distant for binary neutron stars, and further for higher mass systems. No gravitational-wave signals were detected. We report upper limits on the rate of compact binary coalescence as a function of total mass, including the results from previous LIGO and Virgo observations. The cumulative 90%-confidence rate upper limits of the binary coalescence of binary neutron star, neutron star- black hole and binary black hole systems are 1.3 x 10^-4, 3.1 x 10^-5 and 6.4 x 10^-6 Mpc^-3yr^-1, respectively. These upper limits are up to a factor 1.4 lower than previously derived limits. We also report on results from a blind injection challenge.
- Oct 04 2011 gr-qc arXiv:1110.0208v1We report on an all-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency band 50-800 Hz and with the frequency time derivative in the range of 0 through -6e-9 Hz/s. Such a signal could be produced by a nearby spinning and slightly non-axisymmetric isolated neutron star in our galaxy. After recent improvements in the search program that yielded a 10x increase in computational efficiency, we have searched in two years of data collected during LIGO's fifth science run and have obtained the most sensitive all-sky upper limits on gravitational wave strain to date. Near 150 Hz our upper limit on worst-case linearly polarized strain amplitude $h_0$ is 1e-24, while at the high end of our frequency range we achieve a worst-case upper limit of 3.8e-24 for all polarizations and sky locations. These results constitute a factor of two improvement upon previously published data. A new detection pipeline utilizing a Loosely Coherent algorithm was able to follow up weaker outliers, increasing the volume of space where signals can be detected by a factor of 10, but has not revealed any gravitational wave signals. The pipeline has been tested for robustness with respect to deviations from the model of an isolated neutron star, such as caused by a low-mass or long-period binary companion.
- Sep 17 2011 astro-ph.IM gr-qc arXiv:1109.3498v2Aims. A transient astrophysical event observed in both gravitational wave (GW) and electromagnetic (EM) channels would yield rich scientific rewards. A first program initiating EM follow-ups to possible transient GW events has been developed and exercised by the LIGO and Virgo community in association with several partners. In this paper, we describe and evaluate the methods used to promptly identify and localize GW event candidates and to request images of targeted sky locations. Methods. During two observing periods (Dec 17 2009 to Jan 8 2010 and Sep 2 to Oct 20 2010), a low-latency analysis pipeline was used to identify GW event candidates and to reconstruct maps of possible sky locations. A catalog of nearby galaxies and Milky Way globular clusters was used to select the most promising sky positions to be imaged, and this directional information was delivered to EM observatories with time lags of about thirty minutes. A Monte Carlo simulation has been used to evaluate the low-latency GW pipeline's ability to reconstruct source positions correctly. Results. For signals near the detection threshold, our low-latency algorithms often localized simulated GW burst signals to tens of square degrees, while neutron star/neutron star inspirals and neutron star/black hole inspirals were localized to a few hundred square degrees. Localization precision improves for moderately stronger signals. The correct sky location of signals well above threshold and originating from nearby galaxies may be observed with ~50% or better probability with a few pointings of wide-field telescopes.
- Aug 09 2011 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1108.1598v1The Virgo gravitational wave detector is an interferometer (ITF) with 3km arms located in Pisa, Italy. From July to October 2010, Virgo performed its third science run (VSR3) in coincidence with the LIGO detectors. Despite several techniques adopted to isolate the interferometer from the environment, seismic noise remains an important issue for Virgo. Vibrations produced by the detector infrastructure (such as air conditioning units, water chillers/heaters, pumps) are found to affect Virgo's sensitivity, with the main coupling mechanisms being through beam jitter and scattered light processes. The Advanced Virgo (AdV) design seeks to reduce ITF couplings to environmental noise by having most vibration-sensitive components suspended and in-vacuum, as well as muffle and relocate loud machines. During the months of June and July 2010, a Guralp-3TD seismometer was stationed at various locations around the Virgo site hosting major infrastructure machines. Seismic data were examined using spectral and coherence analysis with seismic probes close to the detector. The primary aim of this study was to identify noisy machines which seismically affect the ITF environment and thus require mitigation attention. Analyzed machines are located at various distances from the experimental halls, ranging from 10m to 100m. An attempt is made to measure the attenuation of emitted noise at the ITF and correlate it to the distance from the source and to seismic attenuation models in soil.
- Apr 15 2011 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1104.2712v2We present direct upper limits on continuous gravitational wave emission from the Vela pulsar using data from the Virgo detector's second science run. These upper limits have been obtained using three independent methods that assume the gravitational wave emission follows the radio timing. Two of the methods produce frequentist upper limits for an assumed known orientation of the star's spin axis and value of the wave polarization angle of, respectively, $1.9\ee{-24}$ and $2.2\ee{-24}$, with 95% confidence. The third method, under the same hypothesis, produces a Bayesian upper limit of $2.1\ee{-24}$, with 95% degree of belief. These limits are below the indirect \it spin-down limit of $3.3\ee{-24}$ for the Vela pulsar, defined by the energy loss rate inferred from observed decrease in Vela's spin frequency, and correspond to a limit on the star ellipticity of $\sim 10^{-3}$. Slightly less stringent results, but still well below the spin-down limit, are obtained assuming the star's spin axis inclination and the wave polarization angles are unknown.
- Feb 21 2011 gr-qc arXiv:1102.3781v1We present the first modeled search for gravitational waves using the complete binary black hole gravitational waveform from inspiral through the merger and ringdown for binaries with negligible component spin. We searched approximately 2 years of LIGO data taken between November 2005 and September 2007 for systems with component masses of 1-99 solar masses and total masses of 25-100 solar masses. We did not detect any plausible gravitational-wave signals but we do place upper limits on the merger rate of binary black holes as a function of the component masses in this range. We constrain the rate of mergers for binary black hole systems with component masses between 19 and 28 solar masses and negligible spin to be no more than 2.0 per Mpc^3 per Myr at 90% confidence.
- Nov 19 2010 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1011.4079v2Soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are thought to be magnetars: neutron stars powered by extreme magnetic fields. These rare objects are characterized by repeated and sometimes spectacular gamma-ray bursts. The burst mechanism might involve crustal fractures and excitation of non-radial modes which would emit gravitational waves (GWs). We present the results of a search for GW bursts from six galactic magnetars that is sensitive to neutron star f-modes, thought to be the most efficient GW emitting oscillatory modes in compact stars. One of them, SGR 0501+4516, is likely ~1 kpc from Earth, an order of magnitude closer than magnetars targeted in previous GW searches. A second, AXP 1E 1547.0-5408, gave a burst with an estimated isotropic energy >10^44 erg which is comparable to the giant flares. We find no evidence of GWs associated with a sample of 1279 electromagnetic triggers from six magnetars occurring between November 2006 and June 2009, in GW data from the LIGO, Virgo, and GEO600 detectors. Our lowest model-dependent GW emission energy upper limits for band- and time-limited white noise bursts in the detector sensitive band, and for f-mode ringdowns (at 1090 Hz), are 3.0x10^44 d_1^2 erg and 1.4x10^47 d_1^2 erg respectively, where d_1 = d_0501 / 1 kpc and d_0501 is the distance to SGR 0501+4516. These limits on GW emission from f-modes are an order of magnitude lower than any previous, and approach the range of electromagnetic energies seen in SGR giant flares for the first time.
- The Virgo detector is a kilometer-length interferometer for gravitational wave detection located near Pisa (Italy). During its second science run (VSR2) in 2009, six months of data were accumulated with a sensitivity close to its design. In this paper, the methods used to determine the parameters for sensitivity estimation and gravitational wave reconstruction are described. The main quantities to be calibrated are the frequency response of the mirror actuation and the sensing of the output power. Focus is also put on their absolute timing. The monitoring of the calibration data as well as the parameter estimation with independent techniques are discussed to provide an estimation of the calibration uncertainties. Finally, the estimation of the Virgo sensitivity in the frequency-domain is described and typical sensitivities measured during VSR2 are shown.
- We present an up-to-date, comprehensive summary of the rates for all types of compact binary coalescence sources detectable by the Initial and Advanced versions of the ground-based gravitational-wave detectors LIGO and Virgo. Astrophysical estimates for compact-binary coalescence rates depend on a number of assumptions and unknown model parameters, and are still uncertain. The most confident among these estimates are the rate predictions for coalescing binary neutron stars which are based on extrapolations from observed binary pulsars in our Galaxy. These yield a likely coalescence rate of 100 per Myr per Milky Way Equivalent Galaxy (MWEG), although the rate could plausibly range from 1 per Myr per MWEG to 1000 per Myr per MWEG. We convert coalescence rates into detection rates based on data from the LIGO S5 and Virgo VSR2 science runs and projected sensitivities for our Advanced detectors. Using the detector sensitivities derived from these data, we find a likely detection rate of 0.02 per year for Initial LIGO-Virgo interferometers, with a plausible range between 0.0002 and 0.2 per year. The likely binary neutron-star detection rate for the Advanced LIGO-Virgo network increases to 40 events per year, with a range between 0.4 and 400 per year.
- Mar 15 2010 gr-qc arXiv:1003.2481v3We summarize the sensitivity achieved by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors for compact binary coalescence (CBC) searches during LIGO's fifth science run and Virgo's first science run. We present noise spectral density curves for each of the four detectors that operated during these science runs which are representative of the typical performance achieved by the detectors for CBC searches. These spectra are intended for release to the public as a summary of detector performance for CBC searches during these science runs.
- Feb 12 2010 gr-qc arXiv:1002.2329v2Virgo is a kilometer-length interferometer for gravitational waves detection located near Pisa. Its first science run, VSR1, occured from May to October 2007. The aims of the calibration are to measure the detector sensitivity and to reconstruct the time series of the gravitational wave strain h(t). The absolute length calibration is based on an original non-linear reconstruction of the differential arm length variations in free swinging Michelson configurations. It uses the laser wavelength as length standard. This method is used to calibrate the frequency dependent response of the Virgo mirror actuators and derive the detector in-loop response and sensitivity within ~5%. The principle of the strain reconstruction is highlighted and the h(t) systematic errors are estimated. A photon calibrator is used to check the sign of h(t). The reconstructed h(t) during VSR1 is valid from 10 Hz up to 10 kHz with systematic errors estimated to 6% in amplitude. The phase error is estimated to be 70 mrad below 1.9 kHz and 6 micro-seconds above.