D. J. Champion - Max Planck Institut fur Radio Astronomie, Bonn, Germany

D. J. Champion
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D. J. Champion
Max Planck Institut fur Radio Astronomie, Bonn, Germany

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (37)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (20)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (17)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (10)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (7)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (4)
Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors (1)
Nuclear Theory (1)

Publications Authored By D. J. Champion

Here we present an in-depth study of the behaviour of the Fast Folding Algorithm, an alternative pulsar searching technique to the Fast Fourier Transform. Weaknesses in the Fast Fourier Transform, including a susceptibility to red noise, leave it insensitive to pulsars with long rotational periods (P > 1 s). This sensitivity gap has the potential to bias our understanding of the period distribution of the pulsar population. Read More

Recent studies have shown possible connections between highly magnetized neutron stars ("magnetars"), whose X-ray emission is too bright to be powered by rotational energy, and ordinary radio pulsars. In addition to the magnetar SGR J1745-2900, one of the radio pulsars in the Galactic centre (GC) region, PSR J1746-2850, had timing properties implying a large magnetic field strength and young age, as well as a flat spectrum. All characteristics are similar to those of rare, transient, radio-loud magnetars. Read More

As of today, more than 2500 pulsars have been found, nearly all in the Milky Way, with the exception of ~28 pulsars in the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds. However, there have been few published attempts to search for pulsars deeper in our Galactic neighborhood. Two of the more promising Local Group galaxies are IC 10 and NGC 6822 (also known as Barnard's Galaxy) due to their relatively high star formation rate and their proximity to our galaxy. Read More

The recent discovery of a population of eccentric (e ~ 0.1) millisecond pulsar (MSP) binaries with low-mass white dwarf companions in the Galactic field represents a challenge to evolutionary models that explain MSP formation as recycling: all such models predict that the orbits become highly circularised during a long period of accretion. The members of this new population exhibit remarkably similar properties (orbital periods, eccentricities, companion masses, spin periods) and several models have been put forward that suggest a common formation channel. Read More

In Torne et al. (2015), we showed detections of SGR J1745-2900 up to 225 GHz (1.33 mm); at that time the highest radio frequency detection of pulsar emission. Read More

Timing results for the black-widow pulsar J2051-0827 are presented, using a 21-year dataset from four European Pulsar Timing Array telescopes and the Parkes radio telescope. This dataset, which is the longest published to date for a black-widow system, allows for an improved analysis that addresses previously unknown biases. While secular variations, as identified in previous analyses, are recovered, short-term variations are detected for the first time. Read More

We present evidence for a small glitch in the spin evolution of the millisecond pulsar J0613$-$0200, using the EPTA Data Release 1.0, combined with Jodrell Bank analogue filterbank TOAs recorded with the Lovell telescope and Effelsberg Pulsar Observing System TOAs. A spin frequency step of 0. Read More

The mass function of neutron stars (NSs) contains information about the late evolution of massive stars, the supernova explosion mechanism, and the equation-of-state of cold, nuclear matter beyond the nuclear saturation density. A number of recent NS mass measurements in binary millisecond pulsar (MSP) systems increase the fraction of massive NSs (with $M > 1.8$ M$_{\odot}$) to $\sim 20\% $ of the observed population. Read More

We report on 22 yrs of radio timing observations of the millisecond pulsar J1024$-$0719 by the telescopes participating in the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA). These observations reveal a significant second derivative of the pulsar spin frequency and confirm the discrepancy between the parallax and Shklovskii distances that has been reported earlier. We also present optical astrometry, photometry and spectroscopy of 2MASS J10243869$-$0719190. Read More

We analyse the stochastic properties of the 49 pulsars that comprise the first International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) data release. We use Bayesian methodology, performing model selection to determine the optimal description of the stochastic signals present in each pulsar. In addition to spin-noise and dispersion-measure (DM) variations, these models can include timing noise unique to a single observing system, or frequency band. Read More

The highly stable spin of neutron stars can be exploited for a variety of (astro-)physical investigations. In particular arrays of pulsars with rotational periods of the order of milliseconds can be used to detect correlated signals such as those caused by gravitational waves. Three such "Pulsar Timing Arrays" (PTAs) have been set up around the world over the past decades and collectively form the "International" PTA (IPTA). Read More

The PSRIX backend is the primary pulsar timing instrument of the Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope since early 2011. This new ROACH-based system enables bandwidths up to 500 MHz to be recorded, significantly more than what was possible with its predecessor, the Effelsberg-Berkeley Pulsar Processor (EBPP). We review the first four years of PSRIX timing data for 33 pulsars collected as part of the monthly European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA) observations. Read More

The detection of five new fast radio bursts (FRBs) found in the High Time Resolution Universe high latitude survey is presented. The rate implied is 6$^{+4}_{-3}\times~10^3$ (95%) FRBs sky$^{-1}$ day$^{-1}$ above a fluence of between 0.13 and 5. Read More

Dense, continuous pulsar timing observations over a 24-hr period provide a method for probing intermediate gravitational wave (GW) frequencies from 10 microhertz to 20 millihertz. The European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA), the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav), the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), and the combined International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) all use millisecond pulsar observations to detect or constrain GWs typically at nanohertz frequencies. In the case of the IPTA's nine-telescope 24-Hour Global Campaign on millisecond pulsar J1713+0747, GW limits in the intermediate frequency regime can be produced. Read More

We have searched for continuous gravitational wave (CGW) signals produced by individually resolvable, circular supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) in the latest EPTA dataset, which consists of ultra-precise timing data on 41 millisecond pulsars. We develop frequentist and Bayesian detection algorithms to search both for monochromatic and frequency-evolving systems. None of the adopted algorithms show evidence for the presence of such a CGW signal, indicating that the data are best described by pulsar and radiometer noise only. Read More

Several theories exist to explain the source of the bright, millisecond duration pulses known as fast radio bursts (FRBs). If the progenitors of FRBs are non-cataclysmic, such as giant pulses from pulsars, pulsar-planet binaries, or magnetar flares, FRB emission may be seen to repeat. We have undertaken a survey of the fields of eight known FRBs from the High Time Resolution Universe survey to search for repeating pulses. Read More

Authors: C. J. Clark, H. J. Pletsch, J. Wu, L. Guillemot, M. Ackermann, B. Allen, A. de Angelis, C. Aulbert, L. Baldini, J. Ballet, G. Barbiellini, D. Bastieri, R. Bellazzini, E. Bissaldi, O. Bock, R. Bonino, E. Bottacini, T. J. Brandt, J. Bregeon, P. Bruel, S. Buson, G. A. Caliandro, R. A. Cameron, M. Caragiulo, P. A. Caraveo, C. Cecchi, D. J. Champion, E. Charles, A. Chekhtman, J. Chiang, G. Chiaro, S. Ciprini, R. Claus, J. Cohen-Tanugi, A. Cuéllar, S. Cutini, F. D'Ammando, R. Desiante, P. S. Drell, H. B. Eggenstein, C. Favuzzi, H. Fehrmann, E. C. Ferrara, W. B. Focke, A. Franckowiak, P. Fusco, F. Gargano, D. Gasparrini, N. Giglietto, F. Giordano, T. Glanzman, G. Godfrey, I. A. Grenier, J. E. Grove, S. Guiriec, A. K. Harding, E. Hays, J. W. Hewitt, A. B. Hill, D. Horan, X. Hou, T. Jogler, A. S. Johnson, G. Jóhannesson, M. Kramer, F. Krauss, M. Kuss, H. Laffon, S. Larsson, L. Latronico, J. Li, L. Li, F. Longo, F. Loparco, M. N. Lovellette, P. Lubrano, B. Machenschalk, A. Manfreda, M. Marelli, M. Mayer, M. N. Mazziotta, P. F. Michelson, T. Mizuno, M. E. Monzani, A. Morselli, I. V. Moskalenko, S. Murgia, E. Nuss, T. Ohsugi, M. Orienti, E. Orlando, F. de Palma, D. Paneque, M. Pesce-Rollins, F. Piron, G. Pivato, S. Rainò, R. Rando, M. Razzano, A. Reimer, P. M. Saz Parkinson, M. Schaal, A. Schulz, C. Sgrò, E. J. Siskind, F. Spada, G. Spandre, P. Spinelli, D. J. Suson, H. Takahashi, J. B. Thayer, L. Tibaldo, P. Torne, D. F. Torres, G. Tosti, E. Troja, G. Vianello, K. S. Wood, M. Wood, M. Yassine

We report the discovery of PSR J1906+0722, a gamma-ray pulsar detected as part of a blind survey of unidentified Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT) sources being carried out on the volunteer distributed computing system, Einstein@Home. This newly discovered pulsar previously appeared as the most significant remaining unidentified gamma-ray source without a known association in the second Fermi-LAT source catalog (2FGL) and was among the top ten most significant unassociated sources in the recent third catalog (3FGL). PSR J1906+0722 is a young, energetic, isolated pulsar, with a spin frequency of $8. Read More

The paucity of observed supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) may imply that the gravitational wave background (GWB) from this population is anisotropic, rendering existing analyses sub-optimal. We present the first constraints on the angular distribution of a nanohertz stochastic GWB from circular, inspiral-driven SMBHBs using the $2015$ European Pulsar Timing Array data [Desvignes et al. (in prep. Read More

We present initial results from the low-latitude Galactic plane region of the High Time Resolution Universe pulsar survey conducted at the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. We discuss the computational challenges arising from the processing of the terabyte-sized survey data. Two new radio interference mitigation techniques are introduced, as well as a partially-coherent segmented acceleration search algorithm which aims to increase our chances of discovering highly-relativistic short-orbit binary systems, covering a parameter space including potential pulsar-black hole binaries. Read More

We report on simultaneous observations of the magnetar SGR J1745-2900 at frequencies $\nu = 2.54$ to $225\,\rm{GHz}$ using the Nancay 94-m equivalent, Effelsberg 100-m, and IRAM 30-m radio telescopes. We detect SGR J1745-2900 up to 225 GHz, the highest radio frequency detection of pulsed emission from a neutron star to date. Read More

We present new limits on an isotropic stochastic gravitational-wave background (GWB) using a six pulsar dataset spanning 18 yr of observations from the 2015 European Pulsar Timing Array data release. Performing a Bayesian analysis, we fit simultaneously for the intrinsic noise parameters for each pulsar, along with common correlated signals including clock, and Solar System ephemeris errors, obtaining a robust 95$\%$ upper limit on the dimensionless strain amplitude $A$ of the background of $A<3.0\times 10^{-15}$ at a reference frequency of $1\mathrm{yr^{-1}}$ and a spectral index of $13/3$, corresponding to a background from inspiralling super-massive black hole binaries, constraining the GW energy density to $\Omega_\mathrm{gw}(f)h^2 < 1. Read More

In recent years cosmology has undergone a revolution, with precise measurements of the microwave background radiation, large galaxy redshift surveys, and the discovery of the recent accelerated expansion of the Universe using observations of distant supernovae. In this light, the SKA enables us to do an ultimate test in cosmology by measuring the expansion rate of the Universe in real time. This can be done by a rather simple experiment of observing the neutral hydrogen (HI) signal of galaxies at two different epochs. Read More

Extracting Times of Arrival from pulsar radio signals depends on the knowledge of the pulsars pulse profile and how this template is generated. We examine pulsar template generation with Bayesian methods. We will contrast the classical generation mechanism of averaging intensity profiles with a new approach based on Bayesian inference. Read More

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will make ground breaking discoveries in pulsar science. In this chapter we outline the SKA surveys for new pulsars, as well as how we will perform the necessary follow-up timing observations. The SKA's wide field-of-view, high sensitivity, multi-beaming and sub-arraying capabilities, coupled with advanced pulsar search backends, will result in the discovery of a large population of pulsars. Read More

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the most tantalizing mysteries of the radio sky; their progenitors and origins remain unknown and until now no rapid multiwavelength follow-up of an FRB has been possible. New instrumentation has decreased the time between observation and discovery from years to seconds, and enables polarimetry to be performed on FRBs for the first time. We have discovered an FRB (FRB 140514) in real-time on 14 May, 2014 at 17:14:11. Read More

We present the discovery of a further five recycled pulsar systems in the mid-Galactic latitude portion of the High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) Survey. The pulsars have rotational periods ranging from 2 ms to 66 ms, and four are in binary systems with orbital periods between 10.8 hours and 9. Read More

The radio millisecond pulsar J1713+0747 is regarded as one of the highest-precision clocks in the sky, and is regularly timed for the purpose of detecting gravitational waves. The International Pulsar Timing Array collaboration undertook a 24-hour global observation of PSR J1713+0747 in an effort to better quantify sources of timing noise in this pulsar, particularly on intermediate (1 - 24 hr) timescales. We observed the pulsar continuously over 24 hr with the Arecibo, Effelsberg, GMRT, Green Bank, LOFAR, Lovell, Nancay, Parkes, and WSRT radio telescopes. Read More

In recent years, instrumentation enabling pulsar observations with unprecedentedly high fractional bandwidth has been under development which can be used to substantially improve the precision of pulsar timing experiments. The traditional template-matching method used to calculate pulse times-of-arrival (ToAs), may not function effectively on these broadband data due to a variety of effects such as diffractive scintillation in the interstellar medium, profile variation as a function of frequency, dispersion measure (DM) evolution and so forth. In this paper, we describe the channelised Discrete Fourier Transform method that can greatly mitigate the influence of the aforementioned effects when measuring ToAs from broadband timing data. Read More

The Pulsar Arecibo L-band Feed Array (PALFA) Survey uses the ALFA 7-beam receiver to search both inner and outer Galactic sectors visible from Arecibo ($32^{\circ}\lesssim \ell \lesssim 77^{\circ}$ and $168^{\circ}\lesssim \ell \lesssim 214^{\circ}$) close to the Galactic plane ($|b|\lesssim5^{\circ}$) for pulsars. In this paper we detail a precursor survey of this region with PALFA, which observed a subset of the full region (slightly more restrictive in $\ell$ and $|b|\lesssim1^{\circ}$) and detected 45 pulsars. For both Galactic millisecond and normal pulsar populations, we compare the survey's detections with simulations to model these populations and, in particular, to estimate the number of observable pulsars in the Galaxy. Read More

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are an emerging class of bright, highly dispersed radio pulses. Recent work by Thornton et al. (2013) has revealed a population of FRBs in the High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) survey at high Galactic latitudes. Read More

We report on the discovery of four millisecond pulsars (MSPs) in the High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) pulsar survey being conducted at the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. All four MSPs are in binary systems and are likely to have white dwarf companions. In addition, we present updated timing solutions for 12 previously published HTRU MSPs, revealing new observational parameters such as five proper motion measurements and significant temporal dispersion measure variations in PSR J1017-7156. Read More

We report the discovery of four gamma-ray pulsars, detected in computing-intensive blind searches of data from the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). The pulsars were found using a novel search approach, combining volunteer distributed computing via Einstein@Home and methods originally developed in gravitational-wave astronomy. The pulsars PSRs J0554+3107, J1422-6138, J1522-5735, and J1932+1916 are young and energetic, with characteristic ages between 35 and 56 kyr and spin-down powers in the range $6\times10^{34}$ - $10^{36}$ erg s$^{-1}$. Read More

We present a polarimetric analysis of 49 long-period pulsars discovered as part of the High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) southern survey. The sources exhibit the typical characteristics of "old" pulsars, with low fractional linear and circular polarisation and narrow, multicomponent profiles. Although the position angle swings are generally complex, for two of the analysed pulsars (J1622-3751 and J1710-2616) we obtained an indication of the geometry via the rotating vector model. Read More

We present temporal scattering measurements of single pulses and average profiles of PSR J1745--2900, a magnetar recently discovered only 3 arcsec away from Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), from 1.2 - 18.95 GHz using the Effelsberg 100-m Radio Telescope, the Nan\c{c}ay Decimetric Radio Telescope, and the Jodrell Bank Lovell Telescope. Read More

The centre of our Milky Way harbours the closest candidate for a supermassive black hole. The source is thought to be powered by radiatively inefficient accretion of gas from its environment. This form of accretion is a standard mode of energy supply for most galactic nuclei. Read More

We report on the setup and initial discoveries of the Northern High Time Resolution Universe survey for pulsars and fast transients, the first major pulsar survey conducted with the 100-m Effelsberg radio telescope and the first in 20 years to observe the whole northern sky at high radio frequencies. Using a newly developed 7-beam receiver system combined with a state-of-the-art polyphase filterbank, we record an effective bandwidth of 240 MHz in 410 channels centred on 1.36 GHz with a time resolution of 54 $\mu$s. Read More

This paper presents the discovery and timing parameters for five millisecond pulsars (MSPs), four in binary systems with probable white dwarf companions and one isolated, found in ongoing processing of the High Time Resolution Universe Pulsar Survey (HTRU). We also present high quality polarimetric data on four of them. These further discoveries confirm the high potential of our survey in finding pulsars with very short spin periods. Read More

Gravitational preferred frame effects are generally predicted by alternative theories that exhibit an isotropic violation of local Lorentz invariance of gravity. They are described by three parameters in the parametrized post-Newtonian formalism. One of their strong-field generalizations, $\hat \alpha_2$, induces a precession of a pulsar's spin around its movement direction with respect to the preferred frame. Read More

Searches for transient astrophysical sources often reveal unexpected classes of objects that are useful physical laboratories. In a recent survey for pulsars and fast transients we have uncovered four millisecond-duration radio transients all more than 40{\deg} from the Galactic plane. The bursts' properties indicate that they are of celestial rather than terrestrial origin. Read More

We have used millisecond pulsars (MSPs) from the southern High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) intermediate latitude survey area to simulate the distribution and total population of MSPs in the Galaxy. Our model makes use of the scale factor method, which estimates the ratio of the total number of MSPs in the Galaxy to the known sample. Using our best fit value for the z-height, z=500 pc, we find an underlying population of MSPs of 8. Read More

We have made extensive observations of 35 distant slow (non-recycled) pulsars discovered in the ongoing Arecibo PALFA pulsar survey. Timing observations of these pulsars over several years at Arecibo Observatory and Jodrell Bank Observatory have yielded high-precision positions and measurements of rotation properties. Despite being a relatively distant population, these pulsars have properties that mirror those of the previously known pulsar population. Read More

Einstein@Home aggregates the computer power of hundreds of thousands of volunteers from 193 countries, to search for new neutron stars using data from electromagnetic and gravitational-wave detectors. This paper presents a detailed description of the search for new radio pulsars using Pulsar ALFA survey data from the Arecibo Observatory. The enormous computing power allows this search to cover a new region of parameter space; it can detect pulsars in binary systems with orbital periods as short as 11 minutes. Read More

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is the most ambitious radio telescope ever planned. With a collecting area of about a square kilometre, the SKA will be far superior in sensitivity and observing speed to all current radio facilities. The scientific capability promised by the SKA and its technological challenges provide an ideal base for interdisciplinary research, technology transfer, and collaboration between universities, research centres and industry. Read More

Using the 100-m Effelsberg radio telescope operating at 1.36 GHz, we have performed a targeted radio pulsar survey of 289 unassociated gamma-ray sources discovered by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) aboard the Fermi satellite and published in the 1FGL catalogue (Abdo et al., 2010). Read More

Signals from radio pulsars show a wavelength-dependent delay due to dispersion in the interstellar plasma. At a typical observing wavelength, this delay can vary by tens of microseconds on five-year time scales, far in excess of signals of interest to pulsar timing arrays, such as that induced by a gravitational-wave background. Measurement of these delay variations is not only crucial for the detection of such signals, but also provides an unparallelled measurement of the turbulent interstellar plasma at au scales. Read More

Affiliations: 1CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 2CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 3Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Vic, Australia, 4University of California at San Diego, San Diego CA, USA, 5Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Vic, Australia, 6CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 7CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 8Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Vic, Australia, 9CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 10Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, USA, 11Max Planck Institut fur Radio Astronomie, Bonn, Germany, 12CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 1310 James Street, Whittlesea Vic, Australia, 14CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 15CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 16Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Vic, Australia, 17University of Texas at Brownsville, Brownsville TX, USA, 18CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 19CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 20Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Vic, Australia, 21University of Zielona Gora, Zielona Gora, Poland, 22Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Vic, Australia, 23University of Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 24CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 25CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 26Max Planck Institut fur Radio Astronomie, Bonn, Germany, 27National Astronomical Observatories, CAS, Beijing, China, 28CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping NSW, Australia, 29University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, 30Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, CAS, Urumqi, China, 31Southwest University, Chongqing, China

A "pulsar timing array" (PTA), in which observations of a large sample of pulsars spread across the celestial sphere are combined, allows investigation of "global" phenomena such as a background of gravitational waves or instabilities in atomic timescales that produce correlated timing residuals in the pulsars of the array. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) is an implementation of the PTA concept based on observations with the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. A sample of 20 millisecond pulsars is being observed at three radio-frequency bands, 50cm (~700 MHz), 20cm (~1400 MHz) and 10cm (~3100 MHz), with observations at intervals of 2 - 3 weeks. Read More