First results from the REAL-time Transient Acquisition backend (REALTA) at the Irish LOFAR station

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Murphy, P. C.
Callanan, Paul
McCauley, J.
McKenna, D. J.
Ó Fionnagáin, D.
Louis, C. K.
Redman, M. P.
Cañizares, L. A.
Carley, E. P.
Maloney, S. A.
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Modern radio interferometers such as the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) are capable of producing data at hundreds of gigabits to terabits per second. This high data rate makes the analysis of radio data cumbersome and computationally expensive. While high performance computing facilities exist for large national and international facilities, that may not be the case for instruments operated by a single institution or a small consortium. Data rates for next generation radio telescopes are set to eclipse those currently in operation, hence local processing of data will become all the more important. Here, we introduce the REAL-time Transient Acquisition backend (REALTA), a computing backend at the Irish LOFAR station (I-LOFAR) which facilitates the recording of data in near real-time and post-processing. We also present first searches and scientific results of a number of radio phenomena observed by I-LOFAR and REALTA, including pulsars, fast radio bursts, rotating radio transients, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, Jupiter, and the Sun.
Instrumentation , Miscellaneous , Methods: data analysis , Telescopes
Murphy, P. C., Callanan, P., McCauley, J., McKenna, D. J., Ó Fionnagáin, D., Louis, C. K., Redman, M. P., Cañizares, L. A., Carley, E. P., Maloney, S. A., Coghlan, B., Daly, M., Scully, J., Dooley, J., Gajjar, V., Giese, C., Brennan, A., Keane, E. F., Maguire, C. A., Quinn, J., Mooney, S., Ryan, A. M., Walsh, J., Jackman, C. M., Golden, A., Ray, T. P., Doyle, J. G., Rigney, J., Burton, M. and Gallagher, P. T. (2021) ‘'First results from the REAL-time Transient Acquisition backend (REALTA) at the Irish LOFAR station', Astronomy & Astrophysics, 655, A16 (12pp). doi: 10.1051/0004-6361/202140415