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We present the pulse arrival times and high-precision dispersion measure estimates for 14 millisecond pulsars observed simultaneously in the 300
500 MHz and 1260
1460 MHz frequency bands using the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope. The data spans over a baseline of 3.5 years (2018-2021), and is the first official data release made available by the Indian Pulsar Timing Array collaboration. This data release presents a unique opportunity for investigating the interstellar medium effects at low radio frequencies and their impact on the timing precision of pulsar timing array experiments. In addition to the dispersion measure time series and pulse arrival times obtained using both narrowband and wideband timing techniques, we also present the dispersion measure structure function analysis for selected pulsars. Our ongoing investigations regarding the frequency dependence of dispersion measures have been discussed. Based on the preliminary analysis for five millisecond pulsars, we do not find any conclusive evidence of chromaticity in dispersion measures. Data from regular simultaneous two-frequency observations are presented for the first time in this work. This distinctive feature leads us to the highest precision dispersion measure estimates obtained so far for a subset of our sample. Simultaneous multi-band upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope observations in 300
500 MHz and 1260
1460 MHz are crucial for high-precision dispersion measure estimation and for the prospect of expanding the overall frequency coverage upon the combination of data from the various Pulsar Timing Array consortia in the near future. Parts of the data presented in this work are expected to be incorporated into the upcoming third data release of the International Pulsar Timing Array.
Most applications of Bayesian Inference for parameter estimation and model selection in astrophysics involve the use of Monte Carlo techniques such as Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and nested sampling. However, these techniques are time-consuming and their convergence to the posterior could be difficult to determine. In this study, we advocate variational inference as an alternative to solve the above problems, and demonstrate its usefulness for parameter estimation and model selection in astrophysics. Variational inference converts the inference problem into an optimisation problem by approximating the posterior from a known family of distributions and using Kullback–Leibler divergence to characterise the difference. It takes advantage of fast optimisation techniques, which make it ideal to deal with large datasets and makes it trivial to parallelise on a multicore platform. We also derive a new approximate evidence estimation based on variational posterior, and importance sampling technique called posterior-weighted importance sampling for the calculation of evidence, which is useful to perform Bayesian model selection. As a proof of principle, we apply variational inference to five different problems in astrophysics, where Monte Carlo techniques were previously used. These include assessment of significance of annual modulation in the COSINE-100 dark matter experiment, measuring exoplanet orbital parameters from radial velocity data, tests of periodicities in measurements of Newton’s constant G, assessing the significance of a turnover in the spectral lag data of GRB 160625B, and estimating the mass of a galaxy cluster using weak gravitational lensing. We find that variational inference is much faster than MCMC and nested sampling techniques for most of these problems while providing competitive results. All our analysis codes have been made publicly available.
We introduce pinta, a pipeline for reducing the upgraded Giant Metre-wave Radio Telescope (uGMRT) raw pulsar timing data, developed for the Indian Pulsar Timing Array experiment. We provide a detailed description of the workflow and usage of pinta, as well as its computational performance and RFI mitigation characteristics. We also discuss a novel and independent determination of the relative time offsets between the different back-end modes of uGMRT and the interpretation of the uGMRT observation frequency settings and their agreement with results obtained from engineering tests. Further, we demonstrate the capability of pinta to generate data products which can produce high-precision TOAs using PSR J1909
3744 as an example. These results are crucial for performing precision pulsar timing with the uGMRT.
Euclid is a Europe-led cosmology space mission dedicated to a visible and near infrared survey of the entire extra-galactic sky. Its purpose is to deepen our knowledge of the dark content of our Universe. After an overview of the Euclid mission and science, this contribution describes how the community is getting organized to face the data analysis challenges, both in software development and in operational data processing matters. It ends with a more specific account of some of the main contributions of the Swiss Science Data Center (SDC-CH).
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