LIGO Document G1400914-v1

Assessing the Detectability of Gravitational Waves from Coalescing Binary Black Holes with Precessing Spin

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The Advanced LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors will come online within the next year and will increase the detectable volume of LIGO/Virgo by three orders of magnitude. Coalescing binary black holes (BBH) are anticipated to be among the most likely sources of gravitational radiation observable by the detectors. The component black holes of these systems are predicted to have substantial spin, causing precession of the orbital plane in some cases. This feature greatly influences the gravitational waveforms from these sources. Recent LIGO/Virgo searches have used waveform models that neglect the effects of the component spins. However, there exist waveform models that include effects of spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum. We explore the use of an aligned spin template bank to search for BBH gravitational wave signals including precession. We characterize the ability for aligned spin template waveforms to increase the detection rate of precessing binaries in Advanced LIGO detectors. If black holes are highly spinning as predicted, use of aligned spin template banks in upcoming searches will increase the detection rate of these systems in Advanced LIGO and Virgo data, providing a deeper understanding of the sources.
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