New data-analysis subgroups of LIGO Science Collaboration

Éanna Flanagan, Cornell

With the installation of the initial LIGO interferometers only a short year or two from now, the LIGO Science Collaboration (LSC) has started giving more attention to preparing for data analysis. At the LSC meeting in March at the LIGO Hanford site, three new subgroups of the LSC were formed: a Detector Characterization subgroup, a Astrophysical Source Identification and Signatures subgroup, and a Detection Confidence and Statistical Analysis subgroup. These subgroups complement the three previously existing subgroups whose purpose is the design and development of the detectors themselves (the Stochastic Forces - Isolation and Suspensions, Laser and Optics, and Interferometer Configurations subgroups).

Identifying with high confidence a gravitational wave signal in the outputs of the LIGO interferometers will involve several elements: (i) A detailed understanding of the statistical properties of the noise in the instruments, (ii) computationally efficient algorithms to sift through the vast amounts of data generated by the instruments to identify possible candidate signals, with different algorithms for each type of source, and (iii) for each candidate signal, exhaustive post-processing analyses of all available information must be performed in order to assess the probability of it being a true signal. The purpose of the three new subgroups is, roughly speaking, to address these three different tasks.

The Astrophysical Source Identification and Signatures subgroup addresses task (ii) and is chaired by Bruce Allen ( More information about this subgroup can be found at its web home-page

which contains links to meetings, research plans etc. The Detection Confidence and Statistical Analysis subgroup addresses task (iii) and is chaired by Sam Finn ( Finally task (i) is the job of the Detector Characterization subgroup, chaired by Bill Hamilton ( Individuals who are interested in participating in these groups are encouraged to contact the respective chairmen.

Jorge Pullin
Mon Sep 7 17:37:02 EDT 1998