Searches for radio transients
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Exploration of the transient Universe is an exciting and fast-emerging area within radio astronomy. Known transient phenomena range in time scales from subnanoseconds to years or longer, thus spanning a huge range in time domain and hinting a rich diversity in their underlying physical processes. Transient phenomena are likely locations of explosive or dynamic events and they offer tremendous potential to uncover new physics and astrophysics. A number of upcoming next-generation radio facilities and recent advances in computing and instrumentation have provided a much needed impetus for this field which has remained a relatively uncharted territory for the past several decades. In this paper we focus mainly on the class of phenomena that occur on very short time scales (i.e. from ~milliseconds to ~nanoseconds), known as fast transients, the detections of which involve considerable signal processing and data management challenges, given the high time and frequency resolutions required in their explorations, the role of propagation effects to be considered and a multitude of deleterious effects due to radio frequency interference. We will describe the techniques, strategies and challenges involved in their detections and review the world-wide efforts currently under way, both through scientific discoveries enabled by the ongoing large-scale surveys at Parkes and Arecibo, as well as technical developments involving the exploratory use of multi-element array instruments such as VLBA and GMRT. Such developments will undoubtedly provide valuable inputs as next-generation arrays such as LOFAR and ASKAP are designed and commissioned. With their wider fields of view and higher sensitivities, these instruments, and eventually the SKA, hold great potential to revolutionise this relatively nascent field, thereby opening up exciting new science avenues in astrophysics.
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Carbone, D.; Van Der Horst, A.; Wijers, R.; Swinbank, J.; Rowlinson, A.; Broderick, J.; Cendes, Y.; Stewart, A.; Bell, M.; Breton, R.; Corbel, S.; Eislöffel, J.; Fender, R.; Grießmeier, J.; Hessels, J.; Jonker, P.; Kramer, M.; Law, C.; Miller-Jones, James; Pietka, M.; Scheers, L.; Stappers, B.; Van Leeuwen, J.; Wijnands, R.; Wise, M.; Zarka, P. (2016)© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. We report on the results of a search for radio transients between 115 and 190 MHz with the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR). ...
Bell, M.; Fender, R.; Swinbank, J.; Miller-Jones, James; Law, C.; Scheers, B.; Spreeuw, H.; Wise, M.; Stappers, B.; Wijers, R.; Hessels, J.; Masters, J. (2011)In this paper we present the results of a survey for radio transients using data obtained from the Very Large Array archive. We have reduced, using a pipeline procedure, 5037 observations of the most common pointings - ...
A Matched Filter Technique for Slow Radio Transient Detection and First Demonstration with the Murchison Widefield ArrayFeng, L.; Vaulin, R.; Hewitt, J.; Remillard, R.; Kaplan, D.; Murphy, T.; Kudryavtseva, N.; Hancock, Paul; Bernardi, G.; Bowman, J.; Briggs, F.; Cappallo, R.; Deshpande, A.; Gaensler, B.; Greenhill, L.; Hazelton, B.; Johnston-Hollitt, M.; Lonsdale, C.; McWhirter, S.; Mitchell, D.; Morales, M.; Morgan, E.; Oberoi, D.; Ord, S.; Prabu, T.; Shankar, N.; Srivani, K.; Subrahmanyan, R.; Tingay, Steven; Wayth, Randall; Webster, R.; Williams, Andrew; Williams, C. (2017)Many astronomical sources produce transient phenomena at radio frequencies, but the transient sky at low frequencies (<300 MHz) remains relatively unexplored. Blind surveys with new wide-field radio instruments are setting ...