Gravitational-wave burst searches

Gravitational-wave bursts searches are generic “all-purpose” searches targeting all kinds of fast GW transients, i.e., up to a few seconds duration. Burst searches are complementary to matched filter searches and allow for an “eyes-wide-open” approach towards a wide variety of potential sources.

A typical source of short gravitational wave bursts are supernova explosions. This picture shows the remnant “Cas A” of such a supernova, which was observed in the year 1630 in the constellation of Cassiopeia.

Some sources are well understood, both in terms of astrophysical observations and modelling, like the merging of black holes and/or neutron stars, but in most cases the energetics and/or waveforms are highly uncertain. These include neutron star collapses, core collapse supernovae, star-quakes associated with magnetar flares, pulsar glitches, etc. Moreover, as a new window of astrophysical observation has been opened, it is crucial to be ready for yet unknown and unanticipated sources.

The main focus of this group is on searches which scan continuously the entire sky looking for coherent transients over the network of gravitational-wave detectors: the so called “all-sky (and all-time) burst searches”. This is the most general search for transient gravitational-wave signals, and it acts as a starting point for more specific searches.

Within this framework, a lot of work has been devoted to the application of un-modeled burst searches to massive binary mergers.

The group is also strongly involved in the development and implementation of new methodologies and algorithms for the advanced GW detectors.

Our group works on different aspects described above, e.g.:

  • all-sky un-triggered burst searches
  • searches for intermediate mass black hole binary coalescences 
  • methodology and algorithms for future advanced GW detectors
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