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A Pulsar Timing Signal Processor for the Square Kilometre Array

The Pulsar Group at Swinburne University of Technology has been awarded an Australian Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Pre-construction Grant to lead the design of the pulsar timing engine for the SKA Central Signal Processor. The research project will be undertaken in collaboration with an international team led by the National Research Council of Canada.

The SKA pulsar timing signal processor will enable a wide variety of experiments designed to challenge our understanding of space and time; to meet these objectives, we will undertake research and development into novel signal processing methods designed to overcome

  • instability of the pulsar emission (Oslowski et al. 2011, 2013);
  • turbulence in the interstellar medium (You et al. 2007, Hemberger & Stinebring 2008, Keith et al. 2013);
  • radio frequency interference; and
  • instrumental distortion (van Straten 2013).

Plausible solutions to these problems may require the computation of higher-order statistics, such as cyclic spectra (Demorest 2011) and spectral kurtosis (Nita & Gary 2010) estimates.

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