gwbench

GWBENCH: a novel Fisher information package for gravitational-wave benchmarking. We present a new Python package, gwbench, implementing the well-established Fisher information formalism as a fast and straightforward tool for the purpose of gravitational-wave benchmarking, i.e. the estimation of signal-to-noise ratios and measurement errors of gravitational waves observed by a network of detectors. Such an infrastructure is necessary due to the high computational cost of Bayesian parameter estimation methods which renders them less effective for the scientific assessment of gravitational waveforms, detectors, and networks of detectors, especially when determining their effects on large populations of gravitational-wave sources spread throughout the Universe. gwbench further gives quick access to detector locations and sensitivities, while including the effects of Earth’s rotation on the latter, as well as waveform models and their derivatives, while giving access to the host of waveforms available in the LSC Algorithm Library. With the provided functionality, gwbench is relevant for a wide variety of applications in gravitational-wave astronomy such as waveform modeling, detector development, cosmology, and tests of general relativity.