I attended the 5th edition of the Pulsar Observatory School held at the Ooty Radio Telescope by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA). I was selected based on my performance at the 8th Radio Astronomy Winter School (RAWSC) in December 2015 along with other students from India who had participated in different olympiads and similar schools.
What was most exciting about the school was the fact that radio astronomy was a direct application of my field of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. Therefore I got the opportunity to learn loads about the radio telescope and the instrumentation on it which was pioneered by India’s veteran radio astronomer Prof. Govind Swarup. The school offered us lectures on Pulsar astronomy, Pulsar Timing Arrays and even mathematical curve fitting. The most exciting part of the program was that the few of us got observation time on the Ooty Radio Telescope to observe our own pulsars with the telescope.
In December 2016, I came back to the Ooty Radio Telescope to observe the Pulsars B1937+21 and B0329+54 and estimated their period, dispersion measure, maximum radius and age. Below are some images showing the actual time series plots, curve fitted plot and plot showing the frequency vs time arrival plots.
Time series plot of a 5 minute observation of pulsar B0329+54 using ORT.
Profile of the Pulsar in all frequencies.
Plot showing the frequency vs arrival time dependance. This plot is the key to calculate the Dispersion measure. Note that to obtain the signal from the Pulsar one has to perform signal processing tasks such as De-Dispersion and Folding at the Period.
Comparison table for the Pulsar B0329+54.