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LEAP: Coherent sum of pulsar B1937+21

Submitter: Roy Smits
Description: LEAP is the Large European Array for Pulsars, a project with the aim of coherently combining 5 100-m class telescopes in Europe for the purpose of gravitational wave detection using pulsar timing. This results in a telescope with the sensitivity of Arecibo, yet steerable between -30 and +90 degrees declination. To achieve coherence and make the phased array, a new software package has been developed which is complementary to the existing package DiFX.

The image shows the profiles of 54 seconds from the millisecond pulsar B1937+21 as observed last year by WSRT and Effelsberg as well as the coherent sum of those two observations. Coherence was achieved by correlating the pulsar signal itself, using gating and folding of the high time-resolution visibilities. All profiles are scaled to an off-pulse noise of 1. As can be seen in the image, the summed signal is close to 100% coherent, giving a huge boost to the signal-to-noise ratio.

LEAP is already taking 12-hour observations on a monthly basis using WSRT, Effelsberg and Lovell. As of March, LEAP will start its full-scale observations of 24 hours per month.
Copyright: Roy Smits
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