Software development of Glasgow University’s pulsar telescope

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


I have upgraded the data analysis pipeline of the Acre Road pulsar telescope (a 10 m 2 effective area Yagi antenna) to current pulsar research standards. The year-long dataset of observations of PSR J0332+5434 that I use in this project is subject to strong radio frequency interference, which I have mostly removed with a stringent cleaning procedure. I then recovered the pulsar signal from below noise levels via folding with PRESTO [Ransom, 2011], taking into account pulse frequency variations in TEMPO [Hobbs and Edwards, 2012]. I have extracted 1051 pulse times of arrival, using the FFTFIT method [Taylor, 1993] in PRESTO with a four-component Gaussian template of PSR J0332+5434's pulse shape. I performed timing and pulsar parameter fitting in PINT [Luo et al., 2019]. I determined the pulsar frequency and position parameters accurately: f = 1.39954153774 ± 9.7 × 10 −10 Hz; ḟ = −4.00890 × 10 −15 ± 9.6 × 10 −19 Hz s −1 ; Right Ascension = 03:32:59.36004193±3.9×10 −7 deg and Declination = 54:34:43.2890116±8.3×10 −6 deg. The characteristic age and magnetic field inferred from these parameters are consistent with values derived using data from other observatories. The error on the times of arrival and their signal-to-noise ratios are much improved with the updated pipeline; with a minimum error of 173.95 µs, and a largest folded SNR of 13.48. The total summed pulse profile of the year of observations is in line with published observations of PSR J0332+5434's pulse shape, and has improved residuals with respect to the previous pipeline's results.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Science
Awarding Institution
  • University of Glasgow
  • Woan, Graham, Supervisor, External person
Award date14 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • pulsars
  • astrophysics
  • radio astronomy


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