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Susmita Sett (CIRA, Curtin)

Susmita Sett Colloquium: Imaging pulsar census of the Galactic Plane using MWA VCS data

The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:00-16:00 Wed 12 Jun 2024



Pulsars play a crucial role in exploring a wide range of physics and astrophysics, such as probing dense-matter physics and testing strong-field gravity. Traditional pulsar surveys have mostly used time-domain periodicity searches, but these methods can be hindered by scattering, eclipses, and orbital motion, especially at low radio frequencies (<300 MHz). In contrast, image domain searches for pulsars are more effective against these effects, enabling new discoveries in the parameter space unreachable by traditional methods. To exploit the capability of image-based pulsar searches, a pipeline has been developed to form 1-second full Stokes images from high-time-resolution data (Voltage Capture System, VCS) from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). This led to the exploration of image-based techniques for identifying new pulsar candidates.

In this talk, I will describe a low-frequency image-based pulsar census of the Galactic Plane (GP) with the MWA focused on detecting the known pulsars in the observed region of the sky using both image-based and beamformed methods. This effort led to our detection of known pulsars, with some being detected for the first time at low-frequency (150 MHz). The continuum flux densities of the pulsars detected in our image-based GP survey are significantly more reliable than the timing flux densities and therefore offer an additional benefit as flux densities are not readily available or are unreliable for many known pulsars at low frequencies. Therefore, imaging is an effective approach for discovering new pulsars in less-explored regions of the DM space and improving the spectral modelling of the known detected pulsars. Upcoming facilities like SKA-Low will enhance the success of such image-based pulsar searches and aid in identifying new pulsar candidates.


Nikhel Gupta

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