Visualization of Pulsar Search Data

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Session 64 -- Pulsars
Display presentation, Thursday, 9:20-4:00, Heller Lounge Room

[64.11] Visualization of Pulsar Search Data

R. S. Foster (NRL), A. Wolszczan (Penn. State)

The search for periodic signals from rotating neutron stars or pulsars has been a computationally taxing problem to astronomers for more than twenty-five years. Over this time interval, increases in computational capability have allowed ever more sensitive searches, covering a larger parameter space. The volume of input data and the general presence of radio frequency interference typically produce numerous spurious signals. Visualization of the search output and enhanced real-time processing of significant candidate events allow the pulsar searcher to optimally processes and search for new radio pulsars. The pulsar search algorithm and visualization system presented in this paper currently runs on serial RISC based workstations, a traditional vector based super computer, and a massively parallel computer. A description of the serial software algorithm and its modifications for massively parallel computing are describe. The results of four successive searches for millisecond period radio pulsars using the Arecibo telescope at 430 MHz have resulted in the successful detection of new long-period and millisecond period radio pulsars.

Thursday program listing