Tools for Modeling Selection Biases and for Advanced Astrophysical Interpretation of LISA Observations

Project: Research project

Project Details


The analysis of LISA data will be significantly different than data from ground-based detectors, owing to the fact that there will be thousands of overlapping signals from multiple source classes constantly in the data. This poses a variety of interesting problems to develop strategies to identify, isolate, and extract signals and parameters from individual sources. Astrophysical inference and interpretation of signals from single and whole populations of sources will require targeted, quantitative models for observational selection biases. Additionally, multi-messenger observations of LISA sources, before, during, and after the LISA mission will play critical roles in interpreting and understanding the LISA source catalogs. Observational bias has many origins, including selection effects derived from the fundamental astrophysical parameters of a source, uncharactreized physical effects that systematically alter data relative to naive expectations, the response of the instrument to different sources at different frequencies and sky locations, and on the methods used to identify and extract source parameters from the data. In our proposal we will consider the problem of identifying and quantifying astrophysical biases in LISA data for a range of source types. We will produce a set of public tools that the astrophysical community can use to simulate data catalogs for inference and interpretation studies in LISA analysis, and tools for characterizing different kinds of astrophysical bias in LISA data analysis. We are principly interested in bias introduced by astrophysical processes in compact stellar mass binaries, and in selection bias in catalogs containing multiple sources from a given source class. We will include non-standard sources, e.g., eccentric binary black holes and interacting double white dwarfs with inverse gravitational-wave chirps, which hold special promise for multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies and can be used to leverage maximal information.
Effective start/end date7/1/196/30/23


  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (80NSSC19K0323 P00002)


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