Gravitational-wave astronomy with a physical calibration model

Ethan Payne, Colm Talbot, Paul D. Lasky, Eric Thrane, Jeffrey S. Kissel

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28 Citations (Scopus)


We carry out astrophysical inference for compact binary merger events in LIGO-Virgo's first gravitational-wave transient catalog (GWTC-1) using a physically motivated calibration model. We demonstrate that importance sampling can be used to reduce the cost of what would otherwise be a computationally challenging analysis for signal-to-noise ratios of current gravitational-wave detections. We show that including the physical estimate for the calibration error distribution has negligible impact on the inference of parameters for the events in GWTC-1. Studying a simulated signal with matched filter signal-to-noise ratio SNR=200, we project that a calibration error estimate typical of GWTC-1 is likely to be negligible for the current generation of gravitational-wave detectors. We argue that other sources of systematic error - from waveforms, prior distributions, and noise modeling - are likely to be more important. Finally, using the events in GWTC-1 as standard sirens, we infer an astrophysically informed improvement on the estimate of the calibration error in the LIGO interferometers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122004
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2020

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