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  4. Abstract We present a new method, based on fractal analysis, to characterize the output of a physical detector that is in the form of a set of real-valued, discrete physical measurements. We apply the method to gravitational-wave data from the latest observing run of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. We show that a measure of the fractal dimension of the main detector output (strain channel) can be used to determine the instrument status, test data stationarity, and identify non-astrophysical excess noise in low latency. When applied to instrument control and environmental data (auxiliary channels) the fractal dimension can be usedmore »to identify the origins of noise transients, non-linear couplings in the various detector subsystems, and provide a means to flag stretches of low-quality data.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  5. The detection of gravitational-wave signals by the LIGO and Virgo observatories during the past few years has ushered us into the era of gravitational-wave astronomy, shifting our focus from detection to source parameter estimation. This has imposed stringent requirements on calibration in order to maximize the astrophysical information extracted from these detected signals. Current detectors rely on photon radiation pressure from auxiliary lasers to achieve required calibration accuracy. These photon calibrators have made significant improvements over the last few years, realizing fiducials displacements with sub-percent accuracy. This achieved accuracy is directly dependent on the laser power calibration. For the nextmore »observing campaign, scheduled to begin at the end of 2022, a new scheme is being implemented to achieve improved laser power calibration accuracy for all of the GW detectors in the global network. It is expected to significantly improve absolute and relative calibration accuracy for the entire network.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  6. Abstract We search for gravitational-wave signals associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi and Swift satellites during the second half of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 November 1 15:00 UTC–2020 March 27 17:00 UTC). We conduct two independent searches: a generic gravitational-wave transients search to analyze 86 GRBs and an analysis to target binary mergers with at least one neutron star as short GRB progenitors for 17 events. We find no significant evidence for gravitational-wave signals associated with any of these GRBs. A weighted binomial test of the combined results finds nomore »evidence for subthreshold gravitational-wave signals associated with this GRB ensemble either. We use several source types and signal morphologies during the searches, resulting in lower bounds on the estimated distance to each GRB. Finally, we constrain the population of low-luminosity short GRBs using results from the first to the third observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. The resulting population is in accordance with the local binary neutron star merger rate.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
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  8. Intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) span the approximate mass range 100−10 5   M ⊙ , between black holes (BHs) that formed by stellar collapse and the supermassive BHs at the centers of galaxies. Mergers of IMBH binaries are the most energetic gravitational-wave sources accessible by the terrestrial detector network. Searches of the first two observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo did not yield any significant IMBH binary signals. In the third observing run (O3), the increased network sensitivity enabled the detection of GW190521, a signal consistent with a binary merger of mass ∼150  M ⊙ providing direct evidencemore »of IMBH formation. Here, we report on a dedicated search of O3 data for further IMBH binary mergers, combining both modeled (matched filter) and model-independent search methods. We find some marginal candidates, but none are sufficiently significant to indicate detection of further IMBH mergers. We quantify the sensitivity of the individual search methods and of the combined search using a suite of IMBH binary signals obtained via numerical relativity, including the effects of spins misaligned with the binary orbital axis, and present the resulting upper limits on astrophysical merger rates. Our most stringent limit is for equal mass and aligned spin BH binary of total mass 200  M ⊙ and effective aligned spin 0.8 at 0.056 Gpc −3 yr −1 (90% confidence), a factor of 3.5 more constraining than previous LIGO-Virgo limits. We also update the estimated rate of mergers similar to GW190521 to 0.08 Gpc −3 yr −1 .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
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