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Pulsar Array Gravitational-wave Observatory

Pulsar Array Gravitational-wave Observatory

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Pulsar Array Gravitational-wave Observatory

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  1. Pulsar Array Gravitational-wave Observatory Andrea N. Lommen Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Head of Astronomy Program Director of Grundy Observatory Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster, PA

  2. Collaborators • David Nice, Bryn Mawr College • Ingrid Stairs, U. British Columbia • Don Backer, UC Berkeley • Paul Demorest, NRAO • Rob Ferdman, U. British Columbia, • Dick Manchester, ATNF • Bill Coles, UC San Diego • George Hobbs, ATNF • Rick Jenet, UT Brownsville

  3. 20yrs of B1855+09

  4. PSR J1713+0747 over 12 years

  5. Arecibo dominates by length of data set From Jenet, Hobbs, van Straten, Manchester, Bailes, Verbiest, Edwards, Hotan, Sarkissian & Ord (2006)

  6. Figure courtesy of George Hobbs

  7. Some Possible Sources of Burst Radiation • Formation of SMBH (Thorne and Braginski ‘76) • Close encounters of massive objects (Kocsis 06) • Highly eccentric SMBH binaries (Enoki and Nagashima ‘06) • Cosmic Strings (Damour and Vilenkin ‘01)

  8. The shape of the GW response Thanks Bill Coles

  9. Detection algorithm: Weighted sum of residuals

  10. So what can we detect? • 20 pulsars, 1 microsecond RMS, daily obs, we would detect a 0.70 microsecond maximum response about 93% of the time. For a 2-week burst we calculate the corresponding characteristic strain:

  11. Scaling that last slide • Statistic scales as number of pulsars so e.g. measurable strains halve if number of pulsars doubles • Response scales as burst length, so measurable strains halve if burst length doubles • If 20 pulsars have 100 ns RMS, divide left two columns by 10

  12. Sensitivity to a 0.75 s 2-week burst, daily observing, 20 pulsars

  13. Sensitivity to a 0.75 s 2-week burst, daily observing, 20 pulsars

  14. Sensitivity to a 0.75 s 2-week burst, daily observing, 20 pulsars

  15. Sensitivity to a 0.75 s 2-week burst, daily observing, 20 pulsars + 3 more

  16. Wish-list • Back to 20 observations per year • Wide-band multi-frequency observations (800MHz + Lband + Sband) • Clone of NRAO pulsar “dream” machine. 800 MHz coherent dedispersion with FPGAs • Observing system stream-lined.

  17. Summary and Prospects • Arecibo is needed for detection of GWs. • Arecibo is leading, and is poised to continue to do so, but at one observing session every two months it will lose its edge. • P-ALFA searches important for discovering new pulsars for the array. • North American Pulsar Timing Array meeting next weekend

  18. Detectability of a Waveform • “Recall” (Jenet, Lommen, Larson and Wen 2004)