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Stochastic gravitational wave background : detection methods in non-Gaussian regimes

Abstract : The new generation of interferometers should allow us to detect stochastic gravitational wave backgrounds that are expected to arise from a large number of random, independent, unresolved events of astrophysical or cosmological origin. Most detection methods for gravitational waves are based upon the assumption of Gaussian gravitational wave stochastic background signals and noise processes. Our main objective is to improve the methods that can be used to detect gravitational backgrounds in the presence of non-Gaussian distributions. We first maintain the assumption of Gaussian noise distributions so as to better focus on the impact of deviations from normality of the signal distribution in the context of the standard cross-correlation detection statistic. Using a 4th-order Edgeworth expansion of the unknown density for the signal and noise distributions, we first derive an explicit expression for the non-Gaussian likelihood ratio statistic, which is obtained as a function of the variance, but also skewness and kurtosis of the unknown signal and noise distributions. We use numerical procedures to generate maximum likelihood estimates for the gravitational wave distribution parameters for a set of symmetric heavy-tailed distributions, and we find that the fourth cumulant can be estimated with reasonable precision when the ratio between the signal and the noise variances is larger than 1%, which should be useful for analyzing the constraints on astrophysical and cosmological models. In a second step, we analyze the efficiency of the standard cross-correlation statistic in situations that also involve non-Gaussian noise distributions.
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Lionel Martellini. Stochastic gravitational wave background : detection methods in non-Gaussian regimes. Other. Université Côte d'Azur, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017AZUR4031⟩. ⟨tel-01587686⟩

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