Impact of noise transients on low latency gravitational-wave event localisation


Gravitational-wave (GW) data contains non-Gaussian noise transients called ‘glitches’. During the third LIGO-Virgo observing run about 24% of all gravitational-wave candidates were in the vicinity of a glitch, while even more events could be affected in future observing runs due to increasing detector sensitivity. This poses a problem since glitches can affect the estimation of GW source parameters, including sky localisation, which is crucial to identify an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart. In this paper we present a study that estimates how much sky localisation is affected by a nearby glitch in low latency. We injected binary black hole (BBH), binary neutron star (BNS) and neutron star-black hole (NSBH) signals into data containing three different classes of glitches: blips, thunderstorms and fast scatterings. The impact of these glitches was assessed by estimating the number of tile pointings that a telescope would need to search over until the true sky location of an event is observed. We found that blip glitches affect the localisation of BBH mergers the most; in the most extreme cases a BBH event is completely missed even by a 20 deg2 field-of-view (FOV) telescope. Thunderstorm glitches have the biggest impact on BBH and NSBH events, especially if there is no third interferometer, while BNS events appear to be not affected. Fast scattering glitches impact low latency localisation only for NSBH signals. For two-interferometer network small (FOV=1 deg2) and large (FOV=20 deg2) telescopes are affected, whereas three-interferometer localisation bias is small enough not to affect large (FOV=20 deg2) telescopes.

Physical Review D
Ronaldas Macas
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am interested in data science and astrophysics of gravitational waves, and their application for multi-messenger astronomy.