Towards a polarization prediction for LISA via intensity interferometry
Compact Galactic Binary Systems with orbital periods of a few hours are expected to be detected in gravitational waves (GW) by Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) or a similar mission. At present, these so-called verification binaries provide predictions for GW frequency and amplitude. A full polarization prediction would provide a new method to calibrate LISA and other GW observatories, but requires resolving the orientation of the binary on the sky, which is not currently possible. We
... ntly possible. We suggest a method to determine the elusive binary orientation and hence predict the GW polarization, using kmscale optical intensity interferometry. The most promising candidate is CD-30°11223, consisting of a hot helium subdwarf with mB = 12 and a much fainter white dwarf companion, in a nearly edgeon orbit with period 70.5 min. We estimate that the brighter star is tidally stretched by 6 per cent. Resolving the tidal stretching would provide the binary orientation. The resolution needed is far beyond any current instrument, but not beyond current technology. We consider scenarios where an array of telescopes with km-scale baselines and/or the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) are equipped with recently developed kilopixel sub-ns single-photon counters and used for intensity interferometry. We estimate that a team-up of the VLT and ELT could measure the orientation to ±1°a t 2 confidence in 24 h of observation.