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Commensal, Real-Time Fast Transients Surveys with Interferometers

by Carolyn Hunsinger last modified Apr 19, 2013

Casey Law, Geoff Bower (UC Berkeley)

Commensal, Real-Time Fast Transients Surveys with Interferometers

Studies of transient neutron stars and other fast transients have typically been pursued by single-dish telescopes due to their computational simplicity. Interferometers can encompass and extend upon single-dish telescopes with their large field of view, fine spatial resolution and interference robustness. We have developed signal processing and algorithms to open interferometers to the high throughput needed to survey for fast transients. We will present an application of this concept at the VLA where we have imaged 10-ms pulses from neutron stars to localize them and search for multiwavelength counterparts. In the next two years, we will extend this system to commensally search all VLA data for fast transients in real time. Blind fast transient surveys with precise localization will expand our understanding of neutron stars, flare stars, exoplanets, the intergalactic medium, and more.