AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 40 Observations and Instrumentation: Non-Optical
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[40.09] Development of a 327-MHz Receiver and Pulsar Recorder at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

D. A. Moffett (Furman University), M. Castelaz, J.D. Cline (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute), M. Wilson (Western Carolina University)

Utilizing funds from an American Astronomical Society Small Research Grant, we have constructed a 327-MHz cavity-backed, orthogonal-linear polarization feed on a 26-m radio telescope at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI). We have detected a few bright northern pulsars with the feed (e.g., B0329+54, B0950+08) and plan to monitor a set of pulsars for flux variations due to diffractive and refractive interstellar scintillation, and to identify timing glitches. When the telescope is not being used for this project, we will make it available for regional astronomers and their students for on-site and on-line use.

We plan to fill a unique niche in radio astronomy that cannot be offered by any other observatory. The PARI pulsar system will be available not only to faculty and students at Furman, PARI and Western Carolina, but to other astronomers and students at regional universities who want to use the receiver and pulsar system as a tool to demonstrate the usage of radiometers and take real-time continuum and pulsar data. This project allocates time for other projects, and time for sharing the instrument with other institutions. As students at other institutions observe a pulsar, that data will be added to the public PARI pulsar monitoring data archive.

To our knowledge, no other radio observatory in the world has a program like this. Remote pulsar observing will be limited to a list of selected sources, so that the function of the radio telescope can be easily monitored for proper use. PARI has experience in remote control of radio telescopes through its School of Galactic Radio Astronomy internet classroom for high schools and undergraduate institutions. Teachers and students already remotely use PARIís 4.6-m radio telescope (http://www.pari.edu/sgra). This program will build on that experience.


The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: David.Moffett@furman.edu

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