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Statistical characterization of pulsar glitches and their potential impact on searches for continuous gravitational waves

Statistical characterization of pulsar glitches and their potential impact on searches for continuous gravitational waves
Statistical characterization of pulsar glitches and their potential impact on searches for continuous gravitational waves
Continuous gravitational waves from neutron stars could provide an invaluable resource to learn about their interior physics. A common search method involves matched-filtering a modeled template against the noisy gravitational-wave data to find signals. This method suffers a mismatch (i.e. relative loss of signal-to-noise ratio) if the signal deviates from the template. One possible instance in which this may occur is if the neutron star undergoes a glitch, a sudden rapid increase in the rotation frequency seen in the timing of many radio pulsars. In this work, we use a statistical characterization of glitch rate and size in radio pulsars to estimate how often neutron star glitches would occur within the parameter space of continuous gravitational-wave searches, and how much mismatch putative signals would suffer in the search due to these glitches. We find that for many previous and potential future searches, continuous-wave signals have an elevated probability of undergoing one or more glitches, and that these glitches will often lead to a substantial fraction of the signal-to-noise ratio being lost. This could lead to a failure to identify candidate gravitational wave signals in the initial stages of a search, and also to the false dismissal of candidates in subsequent follow-up stages.
gr-qc, astro-ph.HE
0035-8711
Ashton, Gregory
805bcbfd-ae8a-46b2-8297-f3142c3d0e7e
Prix, Reinhard
e067715d-68d9-4d6c-9e81-a111030b0350
Jones, David Ian
b8f3e32c-d537-445a-a1e4-7436f472e160
Ashton, Gregory
805bcbfd-ae8a-46b2-8297-f3142c3d0e7e
Prix, Reinhard
e067715d-68d9-4d6c-9e81-a111030b0350
Jones, David Ian
b8f3e32c-d537-445a-a1e4-7436f472e160

Ashton, Gregory, Prix, Reinhard and Jones, David Ian (2017) Statistical characterization of pulsar glitches and their potential impact on searches for continuous gravitational waves Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 96 (doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.96.063004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Continuous gravitational waves from neutron stars could provide an invaluable resource to learn about their interior physics. A common search method involves matched-filtering a modeled template against the noisy gravitational-wave data to find signals. This method suffers a mismatch (i.e. relative loss of signal-to-noise ratio) if the signal deviates from the template. One possible instance in which this may occur is if the neutron star undergoes a glitch, a sudden rapid increase in the rotation frequency seen in the timing of many radio pulsars. In this work, we use a statistical characterization of glitch rate and size in radio pulsars to estimate how often neutron star glitches would occur within the parameter space of continuous gravitational-wave searches, and how much mismatch putative signals would suffer in the search due to these glitches. We find that for many previous and potential future searches, continuous-wave signals have an elevated probability of undergoing one or more glitches, and that these glitches will often lead to a substantial fraction of the signal-to-noise ratio being lost. This could lead to a failure to identify candidate gravitational wave signals in the initial stages of a search, and also to the false dismissal of candidates in subsequent follow-up stages.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 June 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 September 2017
Published date: 15 September 2017
Additional Information: 22 pages, 9 figures
Keywords: gr-qc, astro-ph.HE

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 412945
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/412945
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: a1f6105d-354d-4772-bcf8-c30288d292e6

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Date deposited: 09 Aug 2017 16:31
Last modified: 05 Oct 2017 16:32

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Contributors

Author: Gregory Ashton
Author: Reinhard Prix
Author: David Ian Jones

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