LIGO Document P1700221-v21

First narrow-band search for continuous gravitational waves from known pulsars in advanced detector data

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Spinning neutron stars asymmetric with respect to their rotation axis are potential sources of
continuous gravitational waves for ground based interferometric detectors. In the case of known
pulsars a fully coherent search, based on matched filtering, which uses the position and rotational
parameters obtained from electromagnetic observations, can be done. Matched filtering maximizes
the signal-to-noise ratio but a large sensitivity loss is expected in case of even a very small mismatch
between the assumed and the true signal parameters. For this reason, narrow-band analyses methods
have been developed, allowing a fully coherent search for gravitational waves from known pulsars
over a fraction of a Hertz and several spin-down values. In this paper we describe a narrow-band
search of eleven pulsars using data from Advanced LIGO’s first observing run. Two nearly threshold
outliers, which were not confirmed as real signals, were found for pulsars J1833-1034 and Vela and
their follow-up is presented. Finally we have placed upper limits on the signal strain amplitude lower
than the spin-down limit for 4 of the 11 targets over the bands searched, in the case of J1813-1749
the spin-down limit has been beaten for the first time. For an additional 4 targets, the median upper
limit across the search bands is below the spin-down limit. This is the most sensitive narrow-band
search for continuous gravitational waves ever done so far.
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CW narrow-band
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Published in Phys Rev D vol. 96 pg. 122006.

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