[1005.5163] Sensitivity of Pulsar Timing Arrays to Gravitational Waves

Authors: Brian J. Burt, Andrea N. Lommen, Lee Samuel Finn

Date: 27 May 2010

Abstract: Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTAs) use high accuracy timing of a collection of low timing noise pulsars to search for gravitational waves in the microhertz to nanohertz frequency band. The sensitivity of such a PTA depends on how the available observing time is allocated among the pulsars in the array. Here, we report on a preliminary analysis of observing strategies for the current North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) PTA. We also investigate the affects of an additional pulsar on the array sensitivity, with the goal of suggesting where PTA pulsar searches might be best directed. We demonstrate that there exists a slight advantage to finding a new pulsar near where the array is already most sensitive. Further, the study suggests that more observing time should be dedicated to the already low noise pulsars in order to have the greatest positive effect on the PTA sensitivity. We have made a web-based sensitivity mapping tool available at this http URL

abs pdf

Jun 01, 2010

1005.5163 (/preprints)
2010-06-01, 12:26 [edit]

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