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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science