|The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium|
|15:00-16:00 Wed 21 Sep 2016|
Chris Flynn: Fast Radio Bursts, video game cards, and the largest telescope in the Southern Hemishphere
The UTMOST project is the Swinburne University University of Sydney ANU upgrade of the Molonglo Radio Synthesis Telescope, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. By installing new receivers and a bank of GPUs, aka video games machines, we have increased the the bandwidth by a factor of 5, the field of view by a factor of 4, and given it much higher time and spectral resolution, all in order to find Fast Radio Bursts. FRBs are bright, very short (few ms) bursts at radio wavelengths, known to be of celestial origin, but otherwise quite mysterious. If they are at cosmological distances, as seems likely, they will allow us to probe the Intergalactic medium in completely new ways, quite apart from puzzle over what they are. To date, no FRB has been seen at other than radio wavelengths, and finding a host galaxy for an FRB remains a major challenge, to which UTMOST could be the key. I will report on the commissioning which is ongoing and science operations which are well underway, with timing of over 300 pulsars weekly, catching 7 glitching pulsars, mapping in correlation and fanbeam modes, followup of radio transients, detection of transient pulsars, and our first Fast Radio Burst discoveries.
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