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Arecibo Telescope drift-scan observations with ALFA and its current status

Presentation #542.05 in the session “Radio, mm, sub-mm Instrumentation and Performance”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Arecibo Telescope drift-scan observations with ALFA and its current status

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are millisecond period radio pulses accompanied with large dispersion measures (DMs), placing their origin at extragalactic distances. The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, USA, was temporarily closed for the safety of the facility in January due to the high rate of earthquakes on the island and in March due to the initial COVID-19 pandemic situation. During these periods we were able to conduct drift-scan observations with the 305-m Arecibo telescope at the observatory using the 7-beam ALFA receiver, which operates at L-band frequency (~1400 MHz). The main purpose of the project was to search for new FRBs in the Arecibo sky. We observed 9 and 14 consecutive nights in January and March, respectively, including 23 nights with approximately 160 telescope hours in total. We have been processing the data and searching for single pulse events while classifying the candidates of astrophysical and radio frequency interference using neural networks. Here we present the current status of the project and some interesting candidates found in our data. These candidates are attributed with large DMs, placing their origin at extragalactic distances.


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