Pulsar array upgrades

We’ve been working to improve the functionality of the pulsar array in order to enhance the reliability and verifiability of ongoing observations of PSRB0329+54.

Gary Atkins and Marcus Leech re-engineered the pulsar array support structure, and have been working on adding a “fence” around the array, to exclude low-angle RFI, which is where most terrestrial interference will be coming from. More work needs to be done to extend the fence around the entire array, but the array is now better-balanced on the support structure.

In addition the front-end electronics have been replaced to improve up-front filtering, using a custom UHF filter provided by Jan Jency in Slovakia. Further versions of this filter will allow us to observe on any of the 3 radio astronomy frequencies in the North American UHF band, while suppressing others.

A peak inside the new front end shows a noise injector, and a new 1/4-wave filter/protector

The noise injector hasn’t been connected yet, but will allow us to do a quick “sanity test” of the entire pulsar system from the comfort of the lab.

Stay tuned 🙂 🙂