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Title: Bright microwave pulses from PSR B0531+21 observed with a prototype transient survey receiver

Abstract

Recent discoveries of transient radio events have renewed interest in time-variable astrophysical phenomena. Many radio transient events are rare, requiring long observing times for reliable statistical study. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Network (DSN) tracks spacecraft nearly continuously with 13 large-aperture, low system temperature radio antennas. During normal spacecraft operations, the DSN processes only a small fraction of the pre-detection bandwidth available from these antennas; any information in the remaining bandwidth, e.g., from an astronomical source in the same antenna beam as the spacecraft, is currently ignored. As a firmware modification to the standard DSN tracking receiver, we built a prototype receiver that could be used for astronomical transient surveys. Here, we demonstrate the receiver's utility through observations of bright pulses from the Crab pulsar and describe attributes of potential transient survey observations piggybacking on operational DSN tracks.

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2]
  1. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Texas at Brownsville, Brownsville, TX 78520 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340277
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ANTENNAS; APERTURES; ASTROPHYSICS; BEAMS; DETECTION; GALAXIES; GAS UTILITIES; MICROWAVE RADIATION; MODIFICATIONS; NASA; PARTICLE TRACKS; PULSARS; PULSES; SPACE; STARS

Citation Formats

O'Dea, J. Andrew, Cheng, Tsan-Huei, Buu, Chau M., Asmar, Sami W., Armstrong, J. W., Jenet, F. A., and Beroiz, Martin. Bright microwave pulses from PSR B0531+21 observed with a prototype transient survey receiver. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/147/5/100.
O'Dea, J. Andrew, Cheng, Tsan-Huei, Buu, Chau M., Asmar, Sami W., Armstrong, J. W., Jenet, F. A., & Beroiz, Martin. Bright microwave pulses from PSR B0531+21 observed with a prototype transient survey receiver. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/147/5/100.
O'Dea, J. Andrew, Cheng, Tsan-Huei, Buu, Chau M., Asmar, Sami W., Armstrong, J. W., Jenet, F. A., and Beroiz, Martin. Thu . "Bright microwave pulses from PSR B0531+21 observed with a prototype transient survey receiver". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/147/5/100.
@article{osti_22340277,
title = {Bright microwave pulses from PSR B0531+21 observed with a prototype transient survey receiver},
author = {O'Dea, J. Andrew and Cheng, Tsan-Huei and Buu, Chau M. and Asmar, Sami W. and Armstrong, J. W. and Jenet, F. A. and Beroiz, Martin},
abstractNote = {Recent discoveries of transient radio events have renewed interest in time-variable astrophysical phenomena. Many radio transient events are rare, requiring long observing times for reliable statistical study. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Network (DSN) tracks spacecraft nearly continuously with 13 large-aperture, low system temperature radio antennas. During normal spacecraft operations, the DSN processes only a small fraction of the pre-detection bandwidth available from these antennas; any information in the remaining bandwidth, e.g., from an astronomical source in the same antenna beam as the spacecraft, is currently ignored. As a firmware modification to the standard DSN tracking receiver, we built a prototype receiver that could be used for astronomical transient surveys. Here, we demonstrate the receiver's utility through observations of bright pulses from the Crab pulsar and describe attributes of potential transient survey observations piggybacking on operational DSN tracks.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-6256/147/5/100},
journal = {Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online)},
number = 5,
volume = 147,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Thu May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}
  • Spectra of the radio emission PSR 0531+21 at 146 MHz are displayed for the average signal and for the giant pulses. The presence of strong faraday rotation effects in the former but not the latter is consistent with the view that giants are weakly polarized main pulse and that the precursor is still strongly polarized at frequencies so low that it is blended with the main pulse. Analysis of arrival times confirms that giant pulses have the phase of the main pulse rather than that of the precursor. (auth)
  • We summarize here the results of the VHE gamma ray study of millisecond pulsars made over seven years by the Durham group. In addition to reporting observations made recently with the Mark III and IV telescopes at Narrabri, Australia, we consider the application of new analysis techniques to earlier data taken using telescopes at Dugway, USA. Pulsed VHE {gamma}-rays have been detected from three of the eight millisecond pulsars observed; we compare our results with the predictions of a theory of VHE emission from millisecond pulsars.
  • The first station of the Long Wavelength Array was used to study PSR B0031-07 with simultaneous observations at 38 and 74 MHz. We found that 158 (0.35%) of the observed pulses at 38 MHz and 221 (0.49%) of the observed pulses at 74 MHz qualified as giant pulses (GPs) in a total of 12 hr of observations. GPs are defined as having flux densities of a factor of ≥90 times that of an average pulse (AP) at 38 MHz and ≥80 times that of an AP at 74 MHz. The cumulative distribution of pulse strength follows a power law, with anmore » index of −4.2 at 38 MHz and −4.9 at 74 MHz. This distribution has a much more gradual slope than would be expected if observing the tail of a Gaussian distribution of normal pulses. The dispersion measure (DM) value which resulted in the largest signal to noise for dedispersed pulses was DM = 10.9 pc cm{sup −3}. No other transient pulses were detected in the data in the wide DM range from 1 to 5000 pc cm{sup −3}. There were 12 GPs detected within the same period from both 38 and 74 MHz, meaning that the majority of them are not generated in a wide band.« less
  • We present the results of a wideband (720–2400 MHz) study of PSR B1821–24A (J1824–2452A, M28A), an energetic millisecond pulsar (MSP) visible in radio, X-rays and γ-rays. In radio, the pulsar has a complex average profile that spans ≳85% of the spin period and exhibits strong evolution with observing frequency. For the first time we measure phase-resolved polarization properties and spectral indices of radio emission throughout almost all of the on-pulse window. We synthesize our findings with high-energy information to compare M28A to other known γ-ray MSPs and to speculate that M28A’s radio emission originates in multiple regions within its magnetospheremore » (i.e., both in the slot or outer gaps near the light cylinder and at lower altitudes above the polar cap). M28A is one of a handful of pulsars that are known to emit giant radio pulses (GRPs)—short, bright radio pulses of unknown nature. We report a drop in the linear polarization of the average profile in both windows of GRP generation and also a “W”-shaped absorption feature (resembling a double notch), partly overlapping with one of the GRP windows. The GRPs themselves have broadband spectra consisting of multiple patches with Δν/ν ∼ 0.07. Although our time resolution was not sufficient to resolve the GRP structure on the μs scale, we argue that GRPs from this pulsar most closely resemble the GRPs from the main pulse of the Crab pulsar, which consist of a series of narrowband nanoshots.« less