LIGO Document P1600242-v2

Detection methods for stochastic gravitational-wave backgrounds: A unified treatment

Document #:
LIGO-P1600242-v2
Document type:
P - Publications
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Abstract:
We review detection methods that are currently in use or have been proposed to search for a stochastic background of
gravitational radiation. We consider both Bayesian and frequentist searches using ground-based and space-based laser interferometers, spacecraft Doppler tracking, and pulsar timing arrays, and we allow for anisotropy, non-Gaussianity, and non-standard polarization states. Our focus is on relevant data analysis issues, and not on the particular astrophysical or early Universe sources that might give rise to such backgrounds. We provide a unified treatment of these searches at the level of detector response functions, detection sensitivity curves, and more generally at the level of the likelihood function, since the choice of signal and noise models ultimately defines the search. Pedagogical examples are given whenever possible to compare and contrast different approaches. We have tried to make the article as self-contained as possible, targeting graduate students and new researchers looking to enter this field.
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Notes and Changes:
updated to include additional references and bounds on anisotropic backgrounds
Publication Information:
to be submitted to Living Reviews in Relativity

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