An autocorrelation method to detect periodic gravitational waves from neutron stars in binary systems

Abstract : Rotating, non-axisymmetric neutron stars are expected to emit continuous gravitational waves at a nearly stable frequency. Nowadays about 2500 pulsars have been detected, thanks to their beamed electromagnetic emission, and many more of these objects should exist, whose electromagnetic beam does not include Earth and cannot be detected. The gravitational emission is not beamed, and could be accessible to gravitational observatories, even though no detection as been claimed yet. About half of the pulsars predicted to possibly emit gravitational waves in the frequency range accessible to ground-based interferometers belongs to binary systems; this is an additional complication, because the frequencies of these pulsars are Doppler-shifted due to their orbital motion, and an optimal detection strategy would require a computing power far beyond the present capabilities. We present here an approach which allows searching all-sky for such sources, over a broad range of frequencies, orbital periods and binary system eccentricities, reaching sensitivities potentially good enough to provide candidates for more sophisticated hierarchical detection methods. We test this new technique using real data taken during the first science run of Virgo, and estimating the sensitivity to a set of simulated pulsar signals.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 30, 2016 - 10:45:55 AM
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Andrea Viceré, Michel Yvert. An autocorrelation method to detect periodic gravitational waves from neutron stars in binary systems. Classical and Quantum Gravity, IOP Publishing, 2016, 33 (16), pp.165006. ⟨10.1088/0264-9381/33/16/165006⟩. ⟨in2p3-01374270⟩



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