LIGO Document T1400426-v9

Toward Improving the Detection Rate of Gravitational Waves from Coalescing Binary Black Holes with Precessing Spin in LIGO/Virgo Data

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T - Technical notes
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The Advanced LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors will come online this year and are expected to outperform the strain sensitivity of initial LIGO/Virgo detectors by an order of magnitude and operate with greater bandwidth, possibly to frequencies as low as 10 Hz. Coalescing binary black holes (BBH) are anticipated to be among the most likely sources of gravitational radiation observable by the detectors. Searches for such systems benefit greatly from the use of accurate predictions for the gravitational wave signal to filter the data. The component black holes of these systems are predicted to have substantial spin, which greatly influences the gravitational waveforms from these sources; however, recent LIGO/Virgo searches have made use of banks of waveform models which neglect the effects of the component spins. The inclusion of spin effects in template waveforms is relatively simplified when the spins are aligned with the orbital angular momentum, since in that case the orientation of the binary orbital plane remains fixed. Although suboptimal, such filters are still sensitive to precessing signals. In this work, we quantify the expected improvement in signal-to-noise recovery by an aligned-spin template bank relative to a non-spinning template bank towards signals from generically precessing binary black holes. We also demonstrate how close such an aligned-spin template bank comes to being optimal in terms of signal-to-noise recovery. These results motivate our future development of a search pipeline implementing aligned spin template filters.
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