Extending the Z^{2}_{n} and H Statistics to Generic Pulsed Profiles
Abstract
The search for astronomical pulsed signals within noisy data in the radio band is usually performed through an initial Fourier analysis to find "candidate" frequencies and then refined through the folding of the time series using trial frequencies close to the candidate. In order to establish the significance of the pulsed profiles found at these trial frequencies, pulsed profiles are evaluated with a χ^{2} test to establish how much they depart from a null hypothesis where the signal is consistent with a flat distribution of noisy measurements. In highenergy astronomy, the χ^{2} statistic has widely been replaced by the ${Z}_{n}^{2}$ statistic and Htest, as they are more sensitive to extra information, such as the harmonic content of the pulsed profile. The ${Z}_{n}^{2}$ statistic and Htest were originally developed for use with "event data" composed of arrival times of single photons, leaving it unclear how these methods could be used in radio astronomy. In this paper, we present a version of the ${Z}_{n}^{2}$ statistic and Htest for pulse profiles with Gaussian uncertainties appropriate for radio or even optical pulse profiles. We show how these statistical indicators provide better sensitivity to lowsignificance pulsar candidates with respect to the usual χ^{2} method and a straightforward way to discriminate between pulse profile shapes. Moreover, they provide an additional tool for radio frequency interference rejection.
 Publication:

The Astrophysical Journal
 Pub Date:
 March 2021
 DOI:
 10.3847/15384357/abda4a
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2012.11397
 Bibcode:
 2021ApJ...909...33B
 Keywords:

 Astrostatistics tools;
 Pulsars;
 Period search;
 1887;
 1306;
 1955;
 Astrophysics  Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
 Astrophysics  High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
 EPrint:
 15 pages, 5 figures