AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 121 G-waves: Gamma Rays and Gravity
Oral, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Royal Palm 4-6

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[121.05] Characterizing the Galactic Gravitational Wave Background with LISA

L. J. Rubbo, S. E. Timpano (Pennsylvania State University), N. J. Cornish (Montana State University)

Estimates of galactic binary populations suggest that inside the frequency band of the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) there will be a large number of gravitational wave sources. The superposition of these sources will form a confusion limited background over a portion of LISA's band. At high frequencies, where the number of sources per frequency bin is below one, individual binaries will be identified in the detector output. At low frequencies, where the number of sources per bin is much greater than one, a small fraction of the binaries will have a high signal-to-noise ratio relative to the background and, therefore, will also be individually identified.

In this talk we will present a Monte Carlo simulation of the galactic gravitational wave background as it will be detected by LISA. Using this simulation a number of characteristics associated with the background are calculated, including estimates of the number and type of binary sources LISA will be able to identify, and the average frequency separation between identified sources. We will also demonstration how a standard Gaussian test can be used to distinguish the galactic background from the intrinsic detector noise.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rubbo@gravity.psu.edu

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