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Journal Article

Estimating the sensitivity of wide-parameter-space searches for gravitational-wave pulsars


Wette,  Karl
Observational Relativity and Cosmology, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Wette, K. (2012). Estimating the sensitivity of wide-parameter-space searches for gravitational-wave pulsars. Physical Review D, 85(4): 042003. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.85.042003.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-6278-4
This paper presents an in-depth study of how to estimate the sensitivity of searches for gravitational-wave pulsars -- rapidly-rotating neutron stars which emit quasi-sinusoidal gravitational waves. It is particularly concerned with searches over a wide range of possible source parameters, such as searches over the entire sky and broad frequency bands. Traditional approaches to estimating the sensitivity of such searches use either computationally-expensive Monte Carlo simulations, or analytic methods which sacrifice accuracy by making an unphysical assumption about the population of sources being searched for. This paper develops a new, analytic method of estimating search sensitivity which does not rely upon this unphysical assumption. Unlike previous analytic methods, the new method accurately predicts the sensitivity obtained using Monte Carlo simulations, while avoiding their computational expense. The change in estimated sensitivity due to properties of the search template bank, and the geographic configuration of the gravitational wave detector network, are also investigated.