Document Type


Publication Date



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.


© 2019 American Physical Society

Publication Title

Physical Review D





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.