Answering this question means having some understanding about how the instrument is expected to work. To make this task easier, the LISA Study Team has developed a simple Signal-to-Noise-Ratio (SNR) calculator for the LISA mission. The tool takes gravitational-wave source parameters like masses, distance, orbital period as input, and returns LISA's response and sensitivity curve, an estimate of the total SNR of the source, and a plot of the cumulated SNR as a function of time.
about the tool, how it works, and what the outputs mean.
This observer tool aims at answering the question "Can LISA Hear This?" and is developed to provide a simple Signal-to-Noise-Ratio (SNR) calculator for the LISA mission. It takes as input gravitational-wave source parameters like masses, distance, orbital period, and gives as outputs:
CLHT is based on pieces of software written in Python and developed in the framework of the LISA Data Challenge. It uses two fundamental blocks:
These two blocks allow the user to plot the frequency-domain response to a given source along with the instrument sensitivity, as it will be measured by LISA through the time-delay interferometry channels. As a result, the output values are not sky-averaged, and reflect the exact parameters of the source, assuming an arbitrary starting orbital phase for the constellation and for the source.
In order to perform a calculation, the user must specify the following:
The parameters that can be tuned are:
These last two modes are crude approximations where the direction of propagation of the gravitational wave is chosen approximately perpendicular to (in the favorable case) or within (in the unfavorable case) the plane defined by the constellation triangle. In the case of massive black hole binaries, the sky location is chosen so that the favorable or unfavorable configuration happens at the time of merger.
The outputs of the tool are 3-fold: