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A Panchromatic Approach to Unlocking the Transient Radio Universe


"The project presented in this proposal aims to develop a rapid response system for the new generation of radio telescopes. This system will automate interactions with astronomical facilities operating over the whole range of the electromagnetic spectrum in order to quickly process their transient alerts and trigger radio follow ups. This feature will make a significant contribution to the field of time-domain radio astronomy which is facing the challenge of exploring a new area of research parameter space. Indeed, very few radio transients have been detected so far their properties are poorly known. Hence, detecting them with radio telescopes will be facilitated by using a panchromatic approach.

Key to the success of multi-wavelength monitoring, especially when it comes to fast transients, is the rapidity at which follow-ups can be executed. In this respect, my project will specifically focus on the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), which is a revolutionary radio telescope array able to observe in multiple directions of the sky simultaneously and reconfigure its pointing via software within seconds. By including an automated systems to LOFAR that connects it to other observatories, my work will enable us to achieve unprecedented response times to monitor transients. One of the goals of my project is to implement a new sub-band feature to the transient buffer board system of LOFAR which will allow to ""virtually"" re-point the telescope for up to a minute back in time. With such loop back feature, it is possible to think that almost no fast transient alerts will be missed in a near future.

Two main scientific projects will be conducted in parallel to the technical achievements performed under the implementation of the rapid response system: the search for prompt radio emission from gamma-ray burst and a survey to search for and monitor intermittent radio pulsars."

Call for proposal

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Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 221 606,40
Administrative Contact
Liz Fay (Ms.)