Detectability of eccentric compact binary coalescences with advanced gravitational-wave detectors

Michael William Coughlin, Patrick Meyers, Eric Thrane, Jialun Luo, Nelson Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Compact binary coalescences are a promising source of gravitational waves for second-generation interferometric gravitational-wave detectors such as advanced LIGO and advanced Virgo. While most binaries are expected to possess circular orbits, some may be eccentric, for example, if they are formed through dynamical capture. Eccentric orbits can create difficulty for matched filtering searches due to the challenges of creating effective template banks to detect these signals. In previous work, we showed how seedless clustering can be used to detect low-mass (Mtotal?10M) compact binary coalescences for both spinning and eccentric systems, assuming a circular post-Newtonian expansion. Here, we describe a parametrization that is designed to maximize sensitivity to low-eccentricity (0???0.6) systems, derived from the analytic equations. We show that this parametrization provides a robust and computationally efficient method for detecting eccentric low-mass compact binaries. Based on these results, we conclude that advanced detectors will have a chance of detecting eccentric binaries if optimistic models prove true. However, a null observation is unlikely to firmly rule out models of eccentric binary populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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