Upper limits on gravitational wave bursts in LIGO's second science run


B. Abbott, California Institute of Technology
R. Abbott, LIGO Livingston
R. Adhikari, California Institute of Technology
A. Ageev, Lomonosov Moscow State University
J. Agresti, California Institute of Technology
B. Allen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
J. Allen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
R. Amin, Louisiana State University
S. B. Anderson, California Institute of Technology
W. G. Anderson, University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
M. Araya, California Institute of Technology
H. Armandula, California Institute of Technology
M. Ashley, Pennsylvania State University
F. Asiri, California Institute of Technology
P. Aufmuth, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover
C. Aulbert, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
S. Babak, Cardiff University
R. Balasubramanian, Cardiff University
S. Ballmer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B. C. Barish, California Institute of Technology
C. Barker, LIGO Hanford
D. Barker, LIGO Hanford
M. Barnes, California Institute of Technology
B. Barr, University of Glasgow
M. A. Barton, California Institute of Technology
K. Bayer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
R. Beausoleil, Stanford University
K. Belczynski, Northwestern University
R. Bennett, University of Glasgow
S. J. Berukoff, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
J. Betzwieser, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B. Bhawal, California Institute of Technology
I. A. Bilenko, Lomonosov Moscow State University

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We perform a search for gravitational wave bursts using data from the second science run of the LIGO detectors, using a method based on a wavelet time-frequency decomposition. This search is sensitive to bursts of duration much less than a second and with frequency content in the 100-1100 Hz range. It features significant improvements in the instrument sensitivity and in the analysis pipeline with respect to the burst search previously reported by LIGO. Improvements in the search method allow exploring weaker signals, relative to the detector noise floor, while maintaining a low false alarm rate, O(0.1) μHz. The sensitivity in terms of the root-sum-square (rss) strain amplitude lies in the range of hrss∼10-20-10-19Hz-1/2. No gravitational wave signals were detected in 9.98 days of analyzed data. We interpret the search result in terms of a frequentist upper limit on the rate of detectable gravitational wave bursts at the level of 0.26 events per day at 90% confidence level. We combine this limit with measurements of the detection efficiency for selected waveform morphologies in order to yield rate versus strength exclusion curves as well as to establish order-of-magnitude distance sensitivity to certain modeled astrophysical sources. Both the rate upper limit and its applicability to signal strengths improve our previously reported limits and reflect the most sensitive broad-band search for untriggered and unmodeled gravitational wave bursts to date. © 2005 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology

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