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Journal Article

Model-Based Cross-Correlation Search for Gravitational Waves from Scorpius X-1


Whelan,  John T.
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Whelan, J. T., Sundaresan, S., Zhang, Y., & Peiris, P. (2015). Model-Based Cross-Correlation Search for Gravitational Waves from Scorpius X-1. Physical Review D, 91: 102005. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.91.102005.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-A80A-7
We consider the cross-correlation search for periodic GWs and its potential application to the LMXB Sco X-1. This method coherently combines data from different detectors at the same time, as well as different times from the same or different detectors. By adjusting the maximum time offset between a pair of data segments to be coherently combined, one can tune the method to trade off sensitivity and computing costs. In particular, the detectable signal amplitude scales as the inverse fourth root of this coherence time. The improvement in amplitude sensitivity for a search with a coherence time of 1hr, compared with a directed stochastic background search with 0.25Hz wide bins is about a factor of 5.4. We show that a search of 1yr of data from Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo with a coherence time of 1hr would be able to detect GWs from Sco X-1 at the level predicted by torque balance over a range of signal frequencies from 30-300Hz; if the coherence time could be increased to 10hr, the range would be 20-500Hz. In addition, we consider several technical aspects of the cross-correlation method: We quantify the effects of spectral leakage and show that nearly rectangular windows still lead to the most sensitive search. We produce an explicit parameter-space metric for the cross-correlation search in general and as applied to a neutron star in a circular binary system. We consider the effects of using a signal template averaged over unknown amplitude parameters: the search is sensitive to a combination of the intrinsic signal amplitude and the inclination of the neutron star rotation axis, and the peak of the expected detection statistic is systematically offset from the true signal parameters. Finally, we describe the potential loss of SNR due to unmodelled effects such as signal phase acceleration within the Fourier transform timescale and gradual evolution of the spin frequency.