Limitations of the time slide method of background estimation.

Abstract: (IOP)
Time shifting the output of gravitational wave detectors operating in coincidence is a convenient way of estimating the background in a search for short-duration signals. In this paper, we show how non-stationary data affect the background estimati on precision. We present a method of measuring the fluctuations of the data and computing its effects on a coincident search. In particular, we show that for fluctuations of moderate amplitude, time slides larger than the fluctuation time scales can be us ed. We also recall how the false alarm variance saturates with the number of time shifts.