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Gravitational radiation from the Galactic population of close white dwarf binaries (CWDBs) is expected to produce a confusion-limited signal at the lower end of the sensitivity band of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). The canonical scale height of the disk population has been taken to be 90 pc for most studies of the nature of this confusion-limited signal. This estimate is probably too low, and the consequences of a more realistic scale height are investigated with a model of the LISA signal due to populations of CWDBs with different scale heights. If the local space density of CWDBs is held constant, increasing the scale height results in both an increase in the overall strength of the confusion-limited signal as well as an increase in the frequency at which the signals become individually resolvable. If the total number of binaries is held constant, increasing the scale height results in a reduction of the number of expected bright signals above the confusion-limited signal at low frequencies. We introduce an estimator for comparing this transition frequency that takes into account the signal spreading at higher frequencies. © 2006. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


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Astrophysical Journal





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