Flexible algorithm efficiently detects single-pulse radiation

Preparing processing pipelines for the data rates and volumes of the SKA and its pathfinder instruments, Curtin-based researchers have now expanded and improved previous work on a real-time reconstruction algorithm for single-pulse fast transient detection surveys. Radio emission in bursts of short duration (explosions, collisions, collapses) is severely modified by its passage through the interstellar and intergalactic medium.

The team, including CAASTRO members Jean-Pierre Macquart and Cathryn Trott, demonstrate the excellent performance of their new incoherent de-dispersion algorithm that maximises the signal-to-noise ratio of the detected signals by flexible selection of data samples for the de-dispersion.

In their paper, they also identify an optimum up to which increased temporal and spatial resolution in measurements aids signal detection but beyond which any gains do not balance out the increased computational demands. This analysis is now applicable to future experiments, for instance the Commensal Real-Time ASKAP Fast Transients (CRAFT) survey that is aimed at detecting milli-second timescale signals in a 30 square degree patch of sky, using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP).


Publication details:

N. Clarke, J.-P. Macquart, C. Trott in ApJ-Supplement Series 205 “Performance of a novel fast transients detection system