EXPLORING THE DYNAMIC RADIO SKY WITH MANY-CORE HIGH-PERFORMANCE COMPUTING

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Mateusz Malenta

Abstract

As new radio telescopes and processing facilities are being built, the amount of data that has to be processed is growing continuously. This poses significant challenges, especially if the real-time processing is required, which is important for surveys looking for poorly understood objects, such as Fast Radio Bursts, where quick detection and localisation can enable rapid follow-up observations at different frequencies. With the data rates increasing all the time, new processing techniques using the newest hardware, such as GPUs, have to be developed. A new pipeline, called PAFINDER, has been developed to process data taken with a phased array feed, which can generate up to 36 beams on the sky, with data rates of 25 GBps per beam. With the majority of work done on GPUs, the pipeline reaches real-time performance when generating filterbank files used for offline processing. The full real-time processing, including single-pulse searches has also been implemented and has been shown to perform well under favourable conditions. The pipeline was successfully used to record and process data containing observations of RRAT J1819-1458 and positions on the sky where 3 FRBs have been observed previously, including the repeating FRB121102. Detailed examination of J1819-1458 single-pulse detections revealed a complex emission environment with pulses coming from three different rotation phase bands and a number of multi-component emissions. No new FRBs and no repeated bursts from FRB121102 have been detected. The GMRT High Resolution Southern Sky survey observes the sky at high galactic latitudes, searching for new pulsars and FRBs. 127 hours of data have been searched for the presence of any new bursts, with the help of new pipeline developed for this survey. No new FRBs have been found, which can be the result of bad RFI pollution, which was not fully removed despite new techniques being developed and combined with the existing solutions to mitigate these negative effects. Using the best estimates on the total amount of data that has been processed correctly, obtained using new single-pulse simulation software, no detections were found to be consistent with the expected rates for standard candle FRBs with a flat or positive spectrum.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date31 Dec 2018