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The LOFAR pilot surveys for pulsars and fast radio transients

Thijs Coenen 1 Joeri van Leeuwen 2 Jason W. T. Hessels 2 Ben W. Stappers 3 Vladislav I. Kondratiev 1 A. Alexov 1 R. P. Breton 4 A. Bilous 5 S. Cooper 3 H. Falcke 1, 6, 7 R. A. Fallows 1 V. Gajjar 3 Jean-Mathias Griessmeier 8, 9 T. E. Hassall 3 A. Karastergiou 10 E. F. Keane 6 M. Kramer 6, 3 M. Kuniyoshi 6 A. Noutsos 6 S. Osłowski 11 M. Pilia 1 M. Serylak 9 C. Schrijvers C. Sobey 6 S. ter Veen 5 J. Verbiest 6 P. Weltevrede 3 S. Wijnholds 1 K. Zagkouris 10 A. S. van Amesfoort 1 J. Anderson 12 A. Asgekar 1 I. M. Avruch 13 M. E. Bell 4 M. J. Bentum 1 G. Bernardi 14 P. Best 15 A. Bonafede 16 F. Breitling 12 J. Broderick 4 M. Brüggen 17 H. R. Butcher 1 B. Ciardi 18 A. Corstanje 7 A. Deller S. Duscha J. Eislöffel 19 R. Fender 4 C. Ferrari 20 W. Frieswijk M. A. Garrett 1, 21 F. de Gasperin E. de Geus 1 A. W. Gunst 1 J. P. Hamaker G. Heald 1 M. Hoeft 19 A. van Der Horst E. Juette 22 G. Kuper 1 C. Law 23 G. Mann 12 R. Mcfadden 1 D. Mckay-Bukowski 24 J. P. Mckean 1 H. Munk 1 E. Orru 1 H. Paas 1 M. Pandey-Pommier 25 A. G. Polatidis 1 W. Reich 6 A. Renting H. Röttgering 21 A. Rowlinson A. M. M. Scaife 26 D. Schwarz 11 J. Sluman 1 O. Smirnov 27 J. Swinbank 23 Michel Tagger 9 Y. Tang C. Tasse 28 S. Thoudam 7 C. Toribio R. Vermeulen C. Vocks R. J. van Weeren 1 O. Wucknitz 6 P. Zarka 28 A. Zensus 6 
Abstract : We have conducted two pilot surveys for radio pulsars and fast transients with the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) around 140 MHz and here report on the first low-frequency fast-radio burst limit and the discovery of two new pulsars. The first survey, the LOFAR Pilot Pulsar Survey (LPPS), observed a large fraction of the northern sky, ~1.4 x 10^4 sq. deg, with 1-hr dwell times. Each observation covered ~75 sq. deg using 7 independent fields formed by incoherently summing the high-band antenna fields. The second pilot survey, the LOFAR Tied-Array Survey (LOTAS), spanned ~600 sq. deg, with roughly a 5-fold increase in sensitivity compared with LPPS. Using a coherent sum of the 6 LOFAR "Superterp" stations, we formed 19 tied-array beams, together covering 4 sq. deg per pointing. From LPPS we derive a limit on the occurrence, at 142 MHz, of dispersed radio bursts of < 150 /day/sky, for bursts brighter than S > 107 Jy for the narrowest searched burst duration of 0.66 ms. In LPPS, we re-detected 65 previously known pulsars. LOTAS discovered two pulsars, the first with LOFAR or any digital aperture array. LOTAS also re-detected 27 previously known pulsars. These pilot studies show that LOFAR can efficiently carry out all-sky surveys for pulsars and fast transients, and they set the stage for further surveying efforts using LOFAR and the planned low-frequency component of the Square Kilometer Array.
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Thijs Coenen, Joeri van Leeuwen, Jason W. T. Hessels, Ben W. Stappers, Vladislav I. Kondratiev, et al.. The LOFAR pilot surveys for pulsars and fast radio transients. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2014, 570, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201424495⟩. ⟨insu-01277801⟩



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