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  1. Abstract

    The Gravity Spy project aims to uncover the origins of glitches, transient bursts of noise that hamper analysis of gravitational-wave data. By using both the work of citizen-science volunteers and machine learning algorithms, the Gravity Spy project enables reliable classification of glitches. Citizen science and machine learning are intrinsically coupled within the Gravity Spy framework, with machine learning classifications providing a rapid first-pass classification of the dataset and enabling tiered volunteer training, and volunteer-based classifications verifying the machine classifications, bolstering the machine learning training set and identifying new morphological classes of glitches. These classifications are now routinely used in studies characterizing the performance of the LIGO gravitational-wave detectors. Providing the volunteers with a training framework that teaches them to classify a wide range of glitches, as well as additional tools to aid their investigations of interesting glitches, empowers them to make discoveries of new classes of glitches. This demonstrates that, when giving suitable support, volunteers can go beyond simple classification tasks to identify new features in data at a level comparable to domain experts. The Gravity Spy project is now providing volunteers with more complicated data that includes auxiliary monitors of the detector to identify the root cause of glitches.

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  2. Abstract

    We present a computational method to identify glitches in gravitational-wave data that occur nearby gravitational-wave signals from compact binary coalescences. The Q-transform, an established tool in LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA data analysis, computes the probability of any excess in the data surrounding a signal against the assumption of a Gaussian noise background, flagging any significant glitches. Subsequently, we perform validation tests on this computational method to ensure self-consistency in colored Gaussian noise, as well as data that contains a gravitational-wave event after subtracting the signal using the best-fit template. Finally, a comparison of our glitch identification results from real events in LIGO-Virgo’s third observing run against the list of events which required glitch mitigation shows that this tool will be useful in providing precise information about data quality to improve astrophysical analyses of these events.

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  3. We present a new method which accounts for changes in the properties of gravitational-wave detector noise over time in the PyCBC search for gravitational waves from compact binary coalescences. We use information from LIGO data quality streams that monitor the status of each detector and its environment to model changes in the rate of noise in each detector. These data quality streams allow candidates identified in the data during periods of detector malfunctions to be more efficiently rejected as noise. This method allows data from machine learning predictions of the detector state to be included as part of the PyCBC search, increasing the total number of detectable gravitational-wave signals by up to 5%. When both machine learning classifications and manually generated flags are used to search data from LIGO-Virgo’s third observing run, the total number of detectable gravitational-wave signals is increased by up to 20% compared to not using any data quality streams. We also show how this method is flexible enough to include information from large numbers of additional arbitrary data streams that may be able to further increase the sensitivity of the search. 
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  4. Abstract The collection of gravitational waves (GWs) that are either too weak or too numerous to be individually resolved is commonly referred to as the gravitational-wave background (GWB). A confident detection and model-driven characterization of such a signal will provide invaluable information about the evolution of the universe and the population of GW sources within it. We present a new, user-friendly, Python-based package for GW data analysis to search for an isotropic GWB in ground-based interferometer data. We employ cross-correlation spectra of GW detector pairs to construct an optimal estimator of the Gaussian and isotropic GWB, and Bayesian parameter estimation to constrain GWB models. The modularity and clarity of the code allow for both a shallow learning curve and flexibility in adjusting the analysis to one’s own needs. We describe the individual modules that make up pygwb , following the traditional steps of stochastic analyses carried out within the LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA Collaboration. We then describe the built-in pipeline that combines the different modules and validate it with both mock data and real GW data from the O3 Advanced LIGO and Virgo observing run. We successfully recover all mock data injections and reproduce published results. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  5. Abstract

    Ground-based gravitational-wave detectors like Cosmic Explorer (CE) can be tuned to improve their sensitivity at high or low frequencies by tuning the response of the signal extraction cavity. Enhanced sensitivity above 2 kHz enables measurements of the post-merger gravitational-wave spectrum from binary neutron star mergers, which depends critically on the unknown equation of state of hot, ultra-dense matter. Improved sensitivity below 500 Hz favors precision tests of extreme gravity with black hole ringdown signals and improves the detection prospects while facilitating an improved measurement of source properties for compact binary inspirals at cosmological distances. At intermediate frequencies, a more sensitive detector can better measure the tidal properties of neutron stars. We present and characterize the performance of tuned CE configurations that are designed to optimize detections across different astrophysical source populations. These tuning options give CE the flexibility to target a diverse set of science goals with the same detector infrastructure. We find that a 40 km CE detector outperforms a 20 km in all key science goals other than access to post-merger physics. This suggests that CE should include at least one 40 km facility.

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  6. Small, highly absorbing points are randomly present on the surfaces of the main interferometer optics in Advanced LIGO. The resulting nanometer scale thermo-elastic deformations and substrate lenses from these micron-scale absorbers significantly reduce the sensitivity of the interferometer directly though a reduction in the power-recycling gain and indirect interactions with the feedback control system. We review the expected surface deformation from point absorbers and provide a pedagogical description of the impact on power buildup in second generation gravitational wave detectors (dual-recycled Fabry–Perot Michelson interferometers). This analysis predicts that the power-dependent reduction in interferometer performance will significantly degrade maximum stored power by up to 50% and, hence, limit GW sensitivity, but it suggests system wide corrections that can be implemented in current and future GW detectors. This is particularly pressing given that future GW detectors call for an order of magnitude more stored power than currently used in Advanced LIGO in Observing Run 3. We briefly review strategies to mitigate the effects of point absorbers in current and future GW wave detectors to maximize the success of these enterprises.

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