Principal component analysis for LISA: The time delay interferometry connection

J. D. Romano, G. Woan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Data from the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is expected to be dominated by frequency noise from its lasers. However, the noise from any one laser appears more than once in the data and there are combinations of the data that are insensitive to this noise. These combinations, called time delay interferometry (TDI) variables, have received careful study and point the way to how LISA data analysis may be performed. Here we approach the problem from the direction of statistical inference, and show that these variables are a direct consequence of a principal component analysis of the problem. We present a formal analysis for a simple LISA model and show that there are eigenvectors of the noise covariance matrix that do not depend on laser frequency noise. Importantly, these orthogonal basis vectors correspond to linear combinations of TDI variables. As a result we show that the likelihood function for source parameters using LISA data can be based on TDI combinations of the data without loss of information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102001
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2006


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