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The problem of optimal detection of signal transients with unknown arrival times contaminated by additive Gaussian noise is considered. The transients are assumed to be time continuous and belong to a parameterized family with the uncertainty about the parameters described by means of an a priori distribution. Under the assumption of a negligible probability that the independent transient observations overlap in time, a likelihood ratio is derived for the problem of detecting an unknown number of transients from the family, each transient with unknown arrival time. The uncertainty about the arrival times is assumed to be equal for all transients and is also described by means of a distribution. Numerical simulations of the performance of detecting a particular transient signal family are presented in the form of receiver operating characteristics (ROCs) for both the optimal detector and the classical generalized likelihood ratio test (GLRT). The results show that the optimal detector yields noticeable performance improvements over the GLRT. Moreover, the results show that the optimal detector may still outperform the GLRT when the true and modeled uncertainties about arrival times no longer agree.