ASTERIX is the most recent addition to the array of pulsar instruments at the Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope. The flexibility of the instrument design makes it an excellent facility to carry out a wide range of science with pulsars. The 8-bit digitisation, wide bandwidth, and the possibility to deal with radio frequency interference results in ASTERIX producing pulse profiles with higher signal-to-noise and time-of-arrivals with higher precision than the previous instruments. This greatly improves the already high quality and broad range of results capable with the Effelsberg 100-m telescope. [more]
The Large European Array for Pulsars (LEAP) is an EU-funded innovative project that will link the major radio telescopes of Europe to create the world's most sensitive, steerable radio telescope. Through the coherent combination of the signals from all telescopes, we will create the equivalent of a 200-m large telescope. This “super telescope” will allow us to observe pulsars with very large sensitivity, which in turn will greatly increase the precision of our pulse time of arrival measurements. With this gain in sensitivity and precision, we hope to finally detect gravitational waves directly in a pulsar timing array experiment. [more]
A PAF receiver is a dense array of antenna elements at the focus of a reflector telescope and the output of these elements can be combined to form beams on the sky. The direction of these beams is controlled by varying the weighting of individual elements of the PAF. The PAF system described here was designed for the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope, but slightly modified for use on the Effelsberg telescope. [more]
Ultra Broad Band receiver (UBB) - In order to carry out the most stringent tests ever of Einstein's General Relativity, our group pioneered the development of a new ultra broadband radio receiver (with frequency coverage between 0.6 and 3.0 GHz) for use at our Effelsberg 100-m radiotelescope. [more]
Novel Processing techniques
Pulsar searching is a “Big Data” problem. All our searches are limited simply by the available computing power (even though we currently already use High Performance Computing facilities in Germany, UK, France, and Australia). This demands the usage of a number of novel processing techniques, such as utilizing large computing power via a “citizen science” project like the Einstein@Home project of our AEI colleagues in Hannover, as well as machine learning algorithms to reduce that amount of human interaction. Our group successfully applies all these methods and has pioneered many of them together with our colleagues in Manchester (more press releases on Einstein@Home: 12.8.2010, 26.11.2013, 8.12.2016, and 28.2.2018).
Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) - This new interferometric radio telescope in Europe has incredible sensitivity at radio frequencies between 30 and 240 MHz, and it is opening up an entire new region of the radio spectrum. Our group is using this new instrument to study pulsars, distant galaxies and the interstellar medium. [more]
The Square Kilometre Array - a technology telescope of superlatives. It will be "the" next generation multi-tasking radio interferometer and the world's premier imaging and survey telescope with a combination of unprecedented versatility and sensitivity. The SKA will not only open up new windows of discovery space in radioastronomy, it will also revolutionise cosmology and gravitational physics. Our group is involved to make this telescope happen. [more]