LIGO Document G0900921-x0

Separating Gravitational Wave Signals from Instrument Artifacts

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G - Presentations (eg Graphics)
Central to the gravitational wave detection problem is the challenge of distinguishing between instrumental and astrophysical features in the data. While this capability has been demonstrated for gaussian noise, transient noise excursions, or ``glitches'' remain problematic. While detector diagnostics and coincidence tests can reject most glitches which might be mistaken for gravitational wave events, a procedure that robustly differentiates the two is desirable. We have developed an approach for coherently fitting to noise excursions without degrading the underlying gravitational wave signal. The principal feature is the use of wavelets as ``glitch templates'' to match the non-gaussian components of the noise. The most parsimonious number of wavelets needed is determined via a trans-dimensional Markov chain Monte Carlo. We demonstrate the method's effectiveness on simulated data containing low amplitude gravitational wave signals from inspiraling binary black hole systems, gaussian noise in accordance with the LIGO/Virgo network of detectors, and injected ``glitches'' of various amplitude, prevalence, and variety.
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