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We present the third data release from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project. The release contains observations of 32 pulsars obtained using the 64-m Parkes ‘Murriyang’ radio telescope. The data span is up to 18 yr with a typical cadence of 3 weeks. This data release is formed by combining an updated version of our second data release with $\sim$3 yr of more recent data primarily obtained using an ultra-wide-bandwidth receiver system that operates between 704 and 4032 MHz. We provide calibrated pulse profiles, flux density dynamic spectra, pulse times of arrival, and initial pulsar timing models. We describe methods for processing such wide-bandwidth observations and compare this data release with our previous release.
We describe 14 yr of public data from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), an ongoing project that is producing precise measurements of pulse times of arrival from 26 millisecond pulsars using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope with a cadence of approximately 3 weeks in three observing bands. A comprehensive description of the pulsar observing systems employed at the telescope since 2004 is provided, including the calibration methodology and an analysis of the stability of system components. We attempt to provide full accounting of the reduction from the raw measured Stokes parameters to pulse times of arrival to aid third parties in reproducing our results. This conversion is encapsulated in a processing pipeline designed to track provenance. Our data products include pulse times of arrival for each of the pulsars along with an initial set of pulsar parameters and noise models. The calibrated pulse profiles and timing template profiles are also available. These data represent almost 21 000 h of recorded data spanning over 14 yr. After accounting for processes that induce time-correlated noise, 22 of the pulsars have weighted root-mean-square timing residuals of
in at least one radio band. The data should allow end users to quickly undertake their own gravitational wave analyses, for example, without having to understand the intricacies of pulsar polarisation calibration or attain a mastery of radio frequency interference mitigation as is required when analysing raw data files.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
We have observed the Vela pulsar for 1 year using a Phased Array Feed (PAF) receiver on the 12-m antenna of the Parkes Test-Bed Facility (PTF). These observations have allowed us to investigate the stability of the PAF beam weights over time, to demonstrate that pulsars can be timed over long periods using PAF technology and to detect and study the most recent glitch event that occurred on 12 December 2016. The beam weights are shown to be stable to 1% on time scales on the order of three weeks.
We have observed the Vela pulsar for 1 year using a phased array feed receiver on the 12-m antenna of the Parkes Test-Bed Facility. These observations have allowed us to investigate the stability of the phased array feed beam weights over time, to demonstrate that pulsars can be timed over long periods using phased array feed technology and to detect and study the most recent glitch event that occurred on 2016 December 12. The beam weights are shown to be stable to 1% on time scales on the order of three weeks. We discuss the implications of this for monitoring pulsars using phased array feeds on single dish telescopes.
Digital signal processing is one of many valuable tools for suppressing unwanted signals or inter-ference. Building hardware processing engines seems to be the way to best implement some classes of interference suppression but is, unfortunately, expensive and time-consuming, especially if several miti-gation techniques need to be compared. Simulations can be useful, but are not a substitute for real data. CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility has recently commenced a ‘software radio telescope’ project designed to fill the gap between dedicated hardware processors and pure simulation. In this approach, real telescope data are recorded coherently, then processed offline. This paper summarises the current contents of a freely available database of base band recorded data that can be used to experiment with signal processing solutions. It includes data from the following systems: single dish, multi-feed receiver; single dish with reference antenna; and an array of six 22 m antennas with and without a reference antenna. Astronomical sources such as OH masers, pulsars and continuum sources subject to interfering signals were recorded. The interfering signals include signals from the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and its Russian equivalent (GLONASS), television, microwave links, a low-Earth-orbit satellite, various other transmitters, and signals leaking from local telescope systems with fast clocks. The data are available on compact disk, allowing use in general purpose computers or as input to laboratory hardware prototypes.
At 12:56 p.m., on Monday 21 July 1969 (AEST), six hundred million people witnessed Neil Armstrong's historic first steps on the Moon through television pictures transmitted to Earth from the lunar module, Eagle. Three tracking stations were receiving the signals simultaneously. They were the CSIRO's Parkes Radio Telescope, the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station near Canberra, and NASA's Goldstone station in California. During the first nine minutes of the broadcast, NASA alternated between the signals being received by the three stations. When they switched to the Parkes pictures, they were of such superior quality that NASA remained with them for the rest of the 2-hour moonwalk. The television pictures from Parkes were received under extremely trying and dangerous conditions. A violent squall struck the telescope on the day of the historic moonwalk. The telescope was buffeted by strong winds that swayed the support tower and threatened the integrity of the telescope structure. Fortunately, cool heads prevailed and as Aldrin activated the TV camera, the Moon rose into the field-of-view of the Parkes telescope. This report endeavours to explain the circumstances of the Parkes Observatory's support of the Apollo 11 mission, and how it came to be involved in the historic enterprise.
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