Pulsars were discovered at 81.5 MHz and a lot of the studies of these exciting objects have been made up to the present time at radio frequencies below 1.6 GHz. The reasons for this concentration on the low radio frequency characteristics of pulsars is the fact that the spectra are very steep and that very few radio telescopes exist that are capable of efficient operations at high radio frequencies. The Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope of the Max-Planck-Institut fur Radioastronomie operates regularly up to the frequency of 50 GHz and was used to study pulsars at cm/mm-wavelengths. In the southern skies the Parkes 64-m telescope has been used to study pulsars up to 8.4 GHz. One pulsar has been detected at 87 GHz with the 30-m Pico Veleta telescope of IRAM.
The studies of pulsars over the whole frequency range are of great importance because this is necessary for the elucidation of the mechanism that is responsible for the pulsar emission. The high polarization of pulsar radio emission at lower radio frequencies has supported the hypothesis of a coherent emission mechanism, which is required to generate the high luminosity. It has been known for some time that pulsars, unlike other radio sources, have a lower polarization at high radio frequencies. Recently a change of pulsar spectrum, a flattening or possibly an inversion has been observed at the highest radio frequencies. The inversion of the pulsar spectrum seems to coincide with a complete depolarization of some pulsars.
Millisecond pulsars are less luminous than normal pulsars. This makes them even more difficult to detect at higher radio frequencies. Recent observations have extended the spectra of ten millisecond pulsars up to 4.85 GHz. The results imply that millisecond pulsars have properties very similar to normal (slow) pulsars, which suggests similar emission mechanisms.