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Strategies for Finding Prompt Radio Counterparts to Gravitational Wave Transients with the Murchison Widefield Array
Kaplan, D. L.; Murphy, T.; Rowlinson, A.; Croft, S. D.; Wayth, R. B.; Trott, C. M.
AA(Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA 0000-0001-6295-2881), AB(Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO)), AC(Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands; ASTRON, The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA, Dwingeloo, The Netherlands), AD(University of California, Berkeley, Astronomy Dept., 501 Campbell Hall #3411, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Eureka Scientific, Inc., 2452 Delmer Street Suite 100, Oakland, CA 94602, USA), AE(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO); International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia 0000-0002-6995-4131), AF(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO); International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia 0000-0001-6324-1766)
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Volume 33, id.e050 7 pp. (PASA Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
gamma-ray burst: general, gravitational waves, methods: observational, radio continuum: general
Abstract Copyright:
2016: Astronomical Society of Australia
Bibliographic Code:


Wepresent and evaluate several strategies to search for prompt, low-frequency radio emission associated with gravitational wave transients using the Murchison Widefield Array. As we are able to repoint the Murchison Widefield Array on timescales of tens of seconds, we can search for the dispersed radio signal that has been predicted to originate along with or shortly after a neutron star-neutron star merger. We find that given the large, 600 deg2 instantaneous field of view of the Murchison Widefield Array, we can cover a significant fraction of the predicted gravitational wave error region, although due to the complicated geometry of the latter, we only cover > 50% of the error region for approximately 5% of events, and roughly 15% of events will be located < 10° from the Murchison Widefield Array pointing centre such that they will be covered in the radio images. For optimal conditions, our limiting flux density for a 10-s long transient would be 0.1 Jy, increasing to about 1 Jy for a wider range of events. This corresponds to luminosity limits of 1038-39 erg s-1 based on expectations for the distances of the gravitational wave transients, which should be sufficient to detect or significantly constrain a range of models for prompt emission.
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