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Constructing a pulsar timing array
Foster, R. S.; Backer, D. C.
AA(California, University, Berkeley), AB(California, University, Berkeley)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 361, Sept. 20, 1990, p. 300-308. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Atomic Clocks, Error Analysis, Pulsars, Time Measuring Instruments, Time Signals, Earth Rotation, Gravitational Waves, Polynomials, Telescopes, Time Measurement
Bibliographic Code:


Arrival time data from a spatial array of millisecond pulsars can be used (1) to provide a time standard for long time scales, (2) to detect perturbations of the earth's orbit, and (3) to search for a cosmic background of gravitational radiation. A polynomial time series representation for these three effects is first developed that is appropriate for analysis of the present data with its limited degrees of freedom. A pulsar timing array program is then described that has been established at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory 43 m telescope with observations of PSR 1620 - 26, PSR 181 - 24, and PSR 1937 + 21. The results cover a 2 yr period beginning in July 1987. The influence of global parameters - clock, earth location, and effects of gravitational radiation is discussed in the context of the polynomial model.

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