Methods and results of the IGEC search for burst gravitational waves in the years 1997-2000
This paper presents the results of the observations of the detectors participating in the International Gravitational Event Collaboration (IGEC) from 1997 to 2000 and reviews the data analysis methods. The analysis is designed to search for coincident excitations in multiple detectors. The data set analyzed in this article covers a longer period and is more complete than that given in previous reports. The current analysis is more accurate for determining the false dismissal probability for a time coincidence search and it optimizes the search with respect to a target amplitude and direction of the signal. The statistics of the accidental coincidences agrees with the model used for drawing the results. The observations of this IGEC search are consistent with no detection of gravitational wave burst events. A new conservative upper limit has been set on the rate of gravitational wave bursts with a Fourier component H>2×10-21 Hz-1, both for searches with and without a filter for the galactic center direction. This study confirms that the false alarm rate of the observation can be negligible when at least three detectors are operating simultaneously. ©2003 The American Physical Society.