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Thursday, April 19, 2012
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


The VLA as a Millisecond Transient Survey Machine

Casey Law
University of California - Berkeley

The extreme brightness of millisecond radio transients makes them detectable in unusual environments like the Galactic center, where they can test General Relativity, or in distant galaxies, where they probe the missing baryons in the local Universe. While single-dish telescopes have pioneered the study of millisecond radio transients, their design limits their ability to localize a source, survey efficiently, and reject interference. Interferometers can expand on all these limitations, if they can handle the massive data rate required to produce millisecond visibilities and images. I will describe a new technique that simplifies the interferometric transient detection problem to the single-dish problem, while maintaining the utility of visibilities and images. The technique, based on interferometric closure quantities, is computationally efficient enough to implement in software for real-time, all-time transient detection. I will describe the unique science potential of this technique and the possibility of developing the Very Large Array as a 24/7 transients survey machine.

Host: Scott Vander Wiel,, CCS-6: STATISTICAL SCIENCES