...PULSAR RADIO ASTRONOMY

General: Pulsar radio astronomy is usually the domain of professional astronomers who use giant radio telescopes in order to capture the exceedingly weak signals that arrive at the Earth from pulsar stars. However, as we show in these pages, it is possible to detect some of the stronger pulsars using equipment commonly found at amateur radio moonbounce stations. Excellent background information regarding pulsars can be found at numerous online websites, e.g., http://www.atnf.csiro.au/research/pulsar/psrcat/, so such background information isn't repeated here. The referenced site is an excellent source for both general and detailed information regarding pulsar stars. The site includes an extensive catalog of known pulsars and their properties and that site was utilized by K5SO extensively. The interested reader is encouraged to visit the website.

 

Tempo.zip file download (7.9 MB)

 

Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of N4IP (Pieter Ibelings of RFSpace, Inc) for discussions, suggestions, and modifications to our SDR-14 software defined receiver to allow it to accept an external sync pulse for synchronized acquisitions and the assistance of AE4JY (Moe Wheatley of MoeTronix) for discussions, suggestions, and providing us with access to the pulse acquisition code within the SpectraVue computer program. We are also grateful to K1JT (Prof. Joe Taylor of Princeton University) for providing assistance in the form of comments and suggestions and for making available to us a practical subset of the TEMPO pulsar program and an ephemeris table database from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory containing data for approximately 500 of the strongest pulsars to enable us to accurately determine the polynomial coefficients necessary to calculate in real time the appropriate Doppler-corrected pulse synchronization frequencies to enable us to collect synchronized data from a target pulsar over a many-hour (6 to 10 hours typically) observing period.

The TEMPO program subset and JPL data file may be downloaded by clicking on the zip file link above; brief instructions for using the information are contained in a README file within the zip file.