The Pulsar-ALFA (PALFA) survey is designed to search the Galactic plane for pulsars at 1.4 GHz using the Arecibo Observatory's 7-beam ALFA receiver. The 64-μs sampling time, 0.336-MHz frequency resolution and 300 MHz bandwidth of the observations are allowing for the detection of millisecond pulsars (MSPs) 2-3 times more distant than previous surveys. To date, PALFA has discovered 55 pulsars, seven of which were discovered via searching for bright single pulses. Highlights include six high-DM MSPs (P<10 ms), a young relativistic binary pulsar, a young energetic pulsar, and a highly-recycled eccentric binary MSP in the Galactic plane. PALFA data analysis has recently added a distributed global volunteer computing program, EinsteinatHome, which is already responsible for two discoveries. The PALFA survey has improved upon existing search algorithms and developed new techniques in response to the large amount of radio frequency interference encountered. The PALFA consortium has begun using a web-portal to enhance collaboration among its international membership, simplify data management and provide survey diagnostics in real time.
Radio Pulsars: An Astrophysical Key to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
- Pub Date:
- August 2011
- gravitational waves;
- Photometric polarimetric and spectroscopic instrumentation;
- Mass and mass distribution;
- Gravitational radiation magnetic fields and other observations