Model-based asymptotically optimal dispersion measure correction for pulsar timing

Abstract : In order to reach the sensitivity required to detect gravitational waves, pulsar timing array experiments need to mitigate as much noise as possible in timing data. A dominant amount of noise is likely due to variations in the dispersion measure. To correct for such variations, we develop a statistical method inspired by the maximum likelihood estimator and optimal filtering. Our method consists of two major steps. First, the spectral index and amplitude of dispersion measure variations are measured via a time-domain spectral analysis. Second, the linear optimal filter is constructed based on the model parameters found in the first step, and is used to extract the dispersion measure variation waveforms. Compared to current existing methods, this method has better time resolution for the study of short timescale dispersion variations, and generally produces smaller errors in waveform estimations. This method can process irregularly sampled data without any interpolation because of its time-domain nature. Furthermore, it offers the possibility to interpolate or extrapolate the waveform estimation to regions where no data is available. Examples using simulated data sets are included for demonstration.
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K. J. Lee, C. G. Bassa, G. H. Janssen, R. Karuppusamy, M. Kramer, et al.. Model-based asymptotically optimal dispersion measure correction for pulsar timing. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2014, 441 (4), pp.2831-2844. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stu664⟩. ⟨insu-01280806⟩

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