LIGO Document P1200087-v9

Prospects for Localization of Gravitational Wave Transients by the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo Observatories

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We present a possible observing scenario for the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo gravitational wave detectors over the next decade, with the intention of providing information to the astronomy community to facilitate planning for multi-messenger astronomy with gravitational waves. We determine the expected sensitivity of the network to transient gravitational-wave signals, and study the capability of the network to determine the sky location of the source. We find that confident detections will likely require at least 2 detectors operating with ranges at least 100 Mpc, while ranges approaching 200 Mpc should give at least ~1 detection per year even under pessimistic predictions of signal rates. Sky localisations depend on the geographical distribution of the detectors and their relative sensitivity, and can be as large as thousands of square degrees with only 2 sensitive detectors operating. Determining the sky position of a significant fraction of detected signals to areas of 5 deg^2 to 20deg^2 will require at least 3 detectors of sensitivity within a factor of ~2 of each other and with a broad frequency bandwidth. Relocating one of the LIGO detectors to India would allow many gravitational-wave signals to be localized to a few square degrees by gravitational-wave observations alone.
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