Observing pulsars and fast transients with LOFAR
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2011

Low frequency radio waves, while challenging to observe, are a rich source of information about pulsars. The LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) is a new radio interferometer operating in the lowest 4 octaves of the ionospheric "radio window": 10-240 MHz, that will greatly facilitate observing pulsars at low radio frequencies. Through the huge collecting area, long baselines, and flexible digital hardware, it is expected that LOFAR will revolutionize radio astronomy at the lowest frequencies visible from Earth. LOFAR is a next-generation radio telescope and a pathfinder to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), in that it incorporates advanced multi-beaming techniques between thousands of individual elements. We discuss the motivation for low-frequency pulsar observations in general and the potential of LOFAR in addressing these science goals. We present LOFAR as it is designed to perform high-time-resolution observations of pulsars and other fast transients, and outline the various relevant observing modes and data reduction pipelines that are already or will soon be implemented to facilitate these observations. A number of results obtained from commissioning observations are presented to demonstrate the exciting potential of the telescope. This paper outlines the case for low frequency pulsar observations and is also intended to serve as a reference for upcoming pulsar/fast transient science papers with LOFAR.

methods: observational

pulsars: general

density power




stars: neutron


binary millisecond pulsar

interstellar plasma

radio-continuum emission

instrumentation: interferometers

intensity variations

decameter wavelengths


gamma-ray pulsars


ISM: general


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Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium

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Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium

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Astronomy and Astrophysics

0004-6361 (ISSN) 1432-0746 (eISSN)

Vol. 530 A80


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi