FM14p.03 — Precision Pulsar Timing with NASA's Deep Space Network

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Aug 10th at 6:00 PM until 6:00 PM

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Author(s): Walid Majid1, Joseph Lazio1, Lawrence Teitelbaum1

Institution(s): 1. JPL/Caltech

Millisecond pulsars are a class of radio pulsars with extremely stable rotations. The excellent timing stability of millisecond pulsars can be used to study a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena. In particular, observations of a large sample of these pulsars can be used to detect the presence of low-frequency gravitational waves. We have developed a precision pulsar timing backend for the Deep Space Network (DSN), which will allow the use of short gaps in tracking schedules to observe and time pulses from an ensemble of millisecond pulsars. The NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) operates clusters of large dish antennas (up to 70-m in diameter), located roughly equi-distant around the Earth, for communication and tracking of deep-space spacecraft. The backend system will be capable of removing entirely the dispersive effects of propagation of radio waves through the interstellar medium in real-time. We will describe our development work, initial results, and prospects for future observations over the next few years.