Realistic sensitivity curves for pulsar timing arrays

Jeffrey S. Hazboun, Joseph D. Romano, Tristan L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We construct realistic sensitivity curves for pulsar timing array searches for gravitational waves, incorporating both red and white noise contributions to individual pulsar noise spectra, and the effect of fitting to a pulsar timing model. We demonstrate the method on both simulated pulsars and a realistic array consisting of a subset of NANOGrav pulsars used in recent analyses. A comparison between the results presented here and measured upper limit curves from actual analyses shows agreement to tens of percent. The resulting sensitivity curves can be used to assess the detectability of predicted gravitational-wave signals in the nanohertz frequency band in a coherent, flexible, and computationally efficient manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104028
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 14 2019


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