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Title:
The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array Project
Authors:
Manchester, R. N.; Hobbs, G.; Bailes, M.; Coles, W. A.; van Straten, W.; Keith, M. J.; Shannon, R. M.; Bhat, N. D. R.; Brown, A.; Burke-Spolaor, S. G.; Champion, D. J.; Chaudhary, A.; Edwards, R. T.; Hampson, G.; Hotan, A. W.; Jameson, A.; Jenet, F. A.; Kesteven, M. J.; Khoo, J.; Kocz, J.; Maciesiak, K.; Oslowski, S.; Ravi, V.; Reynolds, J. R.; Sarkissian, J. M.; Verbiest, J. P. W.; Wen, Z. L.; Wilson, W. E.; Yardley, D.; Yan, W. M.; You, X. P.
Affiliation:
AA(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AB(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia ), AC(Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122, Australia), AD(Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA), AE(Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122, Australia), AF(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AG(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AH(Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122, Australia; International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), AI(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AJ(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena CA 91109-8099, USA), AK(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia; Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany), AL(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AM(10 James Street, Whittlesea Vic. 3757, Australia), AN(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AO(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia; Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122, Australia), AP(Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122, Australia), AQ(Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy, University of Texas at Brownsville, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville TX 78520, USA), AR(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AS(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AT(Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122, Australia; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA), AU(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia; Kepler Institute of Astronomy, University of Zielona Góra, Lubuska 2, 65-265 Zielona Góra, Poland), AV(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia; Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122, Australia), AW(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia; School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Vic 3010, Australia), AX(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AY(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), AZ(Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn Vic 3122, Australia; Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany), BA(National Astronomical Observatories, CAS, Jia-20 DaTun Road, Beijing 100012, China), BB(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia), BC(CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping NSW 1710, Australia; School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia), BD(Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, CAS, 150 Science 1-Street, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830011, China), BE(School of Physical Science & Technology, Southwest University, 2 Tiansheng Road, Chongqing 400715, China)
Publication:
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Volume 30, id.e017 31 pp. (PASA Homepage)
Publication Date:
01/2013
Origin:
CUP
Astronomy Keywords:
gravitational waves, instrumentation: miscellaneous, methods: observational, pulsars: general
Abstract Copyright:
2013: Astronomical Society of Australia
DOI:
10.1017/pasa.2012.017
Bibliographic Code:
2013PASA...30...17M

Abstract

A `pulsar timing array' (PTA), in which observations of a large sample of pulsars spread across the celestial sphere are combined, allows investigation of `global' phenomena such as a background of gravitational waves or instabilities in atomic timescales that produce correlated timing residuals in the pulsars of the array. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) is an implementation of the PTA concept based on observations with the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. A sample of 20 ms pulsars is being observed at three radio-frequency bands, 50 cm (~700 MHz), 20 cm (~1400 MHz), and 10 cm (~3100 MHz), with observations at intervals of two to three weeks. Regular observations commenced in early 2005. This paper describes the systems used for the PPTA observations and data processing, including calibration and timing analysis. The strategy behind the choice of pulsars, observing parameters, and analysis methods is discussed. Results are presented for PPTA data in the three bands taken between 2005 March and 2011 March. For 10 of the 20 pulsars, rms timing residuals are less than 1 mus for the best band after fitting for pulse frequency and its first time derivative. Significant `red' timing noise is detected in about half of the sample. We discuss the implications of these results on future projects including the International Pulsar Timing Array and a PTA based on the Square Kilometre Array. We also present an `extended PPTA' data set that combines PPTA data with earlier Parkes timing data for these pulsars.
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