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ARTS: A new radio transient detection system at Westerbork.

Submitter: The ARTS team
Description: ARTS will, together with Apertif (APERture Tile In Focus), extend the instantaneous field of view of the Westerbork telescopes by a factor of 37. This wide field of view will make the telescopes very sensitive to detecting rare radio bursts, such as RRATS (Rotating RAdio Transients) and FRBs (Fast Radio Bursts).

ARTS (Apertif Radio Transient System) is the advanced backend to Apertif. It is designed specifically to allow for deep searches of pulsars, and to optimize the detection of FRBs. This requires handling (very) high data-rates and the capability for different modes of observation. ARTS has now reached one of its important milestones where the beamformer and the pipeline for high precision pulsar timing for the first time 'communicate' with each other.

The images show the first hardware of ARTS that is under commissioning. The machine is called ARTS-0 and has the high precision pulsar timing pipeline implemented on it. This is capable of performing real-time coherent dedispersion of radio pulsars. It is fed beam-formed data from a UniBoard, for which the FPGA firmware was largely re-used from the Apertif beamformer. The graph shows the folded profile of a fake pulsar signal that traveled from the beamformer through the entire pipeline.
Copyright: Jeanette Bast, Roy Smits
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