UTMOST makes its first burst search

March 13th, 2015. A 36 hour search has been carried out for FRBs using a single fanbeam pointed at the meridian at declination -44 degrees, as part of our science commissioning for UTMOST.


Individual pulses from Vela clearly show up in the burst search as it transits through the single fanbeam (which is a few seconds across in time on the sky). The brightest pulses have a S/N of about 30.

This test of a single fan beam was successful, in particular for characterising the amount of RFI (radio frequency interference) affecting the system.

We will start a 44 or 88 fanbeam search in the coming week.

UPDATE: Our first 44 fanbeam search was performed on the night of 17th-18th March. Vela was seen transiting through every beam, making the test a great success, as shown in the figure.

Vela transiting, one by one, a section of the 44 narrow fanbeams tiled across the center of the telescope’s primary beam. Individual pulses are seen from Vela with S/N from 6 up to about 40. Time is on the x-axis, and S/N is on the y-axis. Credit: Manisha Caleb, Vikram Ravi, Chris Flynn.

UPDATE #2 : Our first 88 fanbeam search was made on 26th March 2015 — giving us almost 2 degrees of search area on the sky. News on our progress with 88 fanbeams can be found here.