LIGO Document G1301178-v1

Using an additional harmonic frequency in pulsar gravitational waves searches

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Targeted searches for gravitational waves from known pulsars have so far considered only emission from the l=m=2 part of the mass distribution, which produces gravitational waves at (or close to) twice the rotation frequency of the star. Here we investigate expanding these searches to include emission from both this spherical harmonic and the l=2, m=1 harmonic (e.g. Jones, 2010), which introduces emission at the rotation frequency. We show that the parameterisation of such emission by Jones (2010) exhibits a complicated likelihood surface, but that the surface can be greatly simplified with a reparameterisation. We use simulated data to study the efficiency of a Bayesian model comparison detection statistic for this search. We also show how it can be used to compare between models containing one or both harmonics.
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