Limitations in timing precision due to single-pulse shape variability in millisecond pulsars
MetadataShow full item record
High-sensitivity radio-frequency observations of millisecond pulsars usually show stochastic, broad-band, pulse-shape variations intrinsic to the pulsar emission process. These variations induce jitter noise in pulsar timing observations; understanding the properties of this noise is of particular importance for the effort to detect gravitational waves with pulsar timing arrays. We assess the short-term profile and timing stability of 22 millisecond pulsars that are part of the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array sample by examining intraobservation arrival time variability and single-pulse phenomenology. In 7 of the 22 pulsars, in the band centred at approximately 1400 MHz, we find that the brightest observations are limited by intrinsic jitter. We find consistent results, either detections or upper limits, for jitter noise in other frequency bands. PSR J1909-3744 shows the lowest levels of jitter noise, which we estimate to contribute ~10 ns root mean square error to the arrival times for hour-duration observations. Larger levels of jitter noise are found in pulsars with wider pulses and distributions of pulse intensities. The jitter noise in PSR J0437-4715 decorrelates over a bandwidth of ~2 GHz. We show that the uncertainties associated with timing pulsar models can be improved by including physically motivated jitter uncertainties. Pulse-shape variations will limit the timing precision at future, more sensitive, telescopes; it is imperative to account for this noise when designing instrumentation and timing campaigns for these facilities.
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ©: 2014 The Authors, Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Lentati, L.; Shannon, Ryan (2015)We extend the recently introduced Bayesian framework ‘generative pulsar timing analysis’ to incorporate both pulse jitter (high-frequency variation in the arrival time of the pulse) and epoch-to-epoch stochasticity in the ...
Pulse intensity modulation and the timing stability of millisecond pulsars: A case study of PSR J1713+0747Shannon, Ryan; Cordes, J. (2012)Most millisecond pulsars, like essentially all other radio pulsars, show timing errors well in excess of what is expected from additive radiometer noise alone. We show that changes in amplitude, shape, and pulse phase for ...
Dolch, T.; Lam, M.; Cordes, J.; Chatterjee, S.; Bassa, C.; Bhattacharyya, B.; Champion, D.; Cognard, I.; Crowter, K.; Demorest, P.; Hessels, J.; Janssen, G.; Jenet, F.; Jones, G.; Jordan, C.; Karuppusamy, R.; Keith, M.; Kondratiev, V.; Kramer, M.; Lazarus, P.; Lazio, T.; Lee, K.; McLaughlin, M.; Roy, J.; Shannon, Ryan; Stairs, I.; Stovall, K.; Verbiest, J.; Madison, D.; Palliyaguru, N.; Perrodin, D.; Ransom, S.; Stappers, B.; Zhu, W.; Dai, S.; Desvignes, G.; Guillemot, L.; Liu, K.; Lyne, A.; Perera, B.; Petroff, E.; Rankin, J.; Smits, R. (2014)The radio millisecond pulsar J1713+0747 is regarded as one of the highest-precision clocks in the sky and is regularly timed for the purpose of detecting gravitational waves. The International Pulsar Timing Array Collaboration ...