Sensitivity curves for spaceborne gravitational wave interferometers

Shane L. Larson, William A. Hiscock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


To determine whether particular sources of gravitational radiation will be detectable by a specific gravitational wave detector, it is necessary to know the sensitivity limits of the instrument. These instrumental sensitivities are often depicted (after averaging over source, position and polarization) by graphing the minimal values of the gravitational wave amplitude detectable by the instrument versus the frequency of the gravitational wave. This paper describes in detail how to compute such a sensitivity curve given a set of specifications for a spacebome laser interferometer gravitational wave observatory. Minor errors in the prior literature are corrected, and the first (mostly) analytic calculation of the gravitational wave transfer function is presented. Example sensitivity curve calculations are presented for the proposed LISA interferometer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062001
Pages (from-to)620011-6200110
Number of pages5580100
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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