An Early-warning System for Electromagnetic Follow-up of Gravitational-wave Events

Surabhi Sachdev, Ryan Magee, Chad Hanna, Kipp Cannon, Leo Singer, Javed Rana Sk, Debnandini Mukherjee, Sarah Caudill, Chiwai Chan, Jolien D.E. Creighton, Becca Ewing, Heather Fong, Patrick Godwin, Rachael Huxford, Shasvath Kapadia, Alvin K.Y. Li, Rico Ka Lok Lo, Duncan Meacher, Cody Messick, Siddharth R. MohiteAtsushi Nishizawa, Hiroaki Ohta, Alexander Pace, Amit Reza, B. S. Sathyaprakash, Minori Shikauchi, Divya Singh, Leo Tsukada, Daichi Tsuna, Takuya Tsutsui, Koh Ueno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Binary neutron stars (BNSs) will spend ≃10-15 minutes in the band of Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo detectors at design sensitivity. Matched-filtering of gravitational-wave (GW) data could in principle accumulate enough signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) to identify a forthcoming event tens of seconds before the companions collide and merge. Here we report on the design and testing of an early-warning GW detection pipeline. Early-warning alerts can be produced for sources that are at low enough redshift so that a large enough S/N accumulates ∼10-60 s before merger. We find that about 7% (49%) of the total detectable BNS mergers will be detected 60 s (10 s) before the merger. About 2% of the total detectable BNS mergers will be detected before merger and localized to within 100 deg2 (90% credible interval). Coordinated observing by several wide-field telescopes could capture the event seconds before or after the merger. LIGO-Virgo detectors at design sensitivity could facilitate observing at least one event at the onset of merger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL25
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 20 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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