Gravitational Wave Astronomy in the LSST Era
Coughlin, Michael William
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AbstractOptimizing the science of astronomical observatories such as gravitational-wave detectors and large telescopes maximizes their potential science output.
In this thesis, I present the results from a number of analyses related to this endeavor. The first is a method to detect gravitational-wave transients. I cast this search as a pattern recognition problem, where the goal is to identify statistically significant clusters in spectrograms of strain power when the precise signal morphology is unknown. The second set of analyses uses Earth and Moon seismic data to place upper limits on an isotropic stochastic gravitational wave background. I use two different response models, which cover the frequency band 0.3 mHz -- 1\,Hz. I find that because the Moon's ambient noise background is much quieter than that of the Earth, using the Moon's data allows for a significantly improved upper limit on a background.
The third analysis relates to noise sources that will limit gravitational-wave detectors in the near future, which include Newtonian noise and global magnetic noise from the Schumann resonances.
For both of these cases, I show prospects for the optimal subtraction of these noise sources using arrays of seismometers and magnetometers respectively.
I further discuss calibration and site characterization studies for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a wide-field survey likely to detect electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational-wave events.
In particular, I discuss the design and implementation of a prototype calibration system tested on current telescopes, as well as perform sky brightness measurements which can be used for telescope scheduler optimization.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37944940
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