Gravitationalwave astronomy with an uncertain noise power spectral density
Abstract
In order to extract information about the properties of compact binaries, we must estimate the noise power spectral density of gravitationalwave data, which depends on the properties of the gravitationalwave detector. In practice, it is not possible to know this perfectly, only to estimate it from the data. Multiple estimation methods are commonly used and each has a corresponding statistical uncertainty. However, this uncertainty is widely ignored when measuring the physical parameters describing compact binary coalescences, and the appropriate likelihoods which account for the uncertainty are not well known. In order to perform increasingly precise astrophysical inference and model selection, it will be essential to account for this uncertainty. In this work, we derive the correct likelihood for one of the most widely used estimation methods in gravitationalwave transient analysis, the median average. We demonstrate that simulated Gaussian noise follows the predicted distributions. We then examine real gravitationalwave data at and around the time of GW151012, a relatively lowsignificance binary black hole merger event. We show that the data are well described by stationaryGaussian noise and explore the impact of different noise power spectral density estimation methods on the astrophysical inferences we draw about GW151012.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 June 2020
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2006.05292
 Bibcode:
 2020arXiv200605292T
 Keywords:

 Astrophysics  Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
 Astrophysics  High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
 EPrint:
 12 pages, 7 figures