S2DFS: analysis of temporal changes of drifting subpulses
Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands e-mail: email@example.com
2 Astronomical Institute “Anton Pannekoek”, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3 Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, Alan Turing Building, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 7 September 2009
Context. We introduce a new technique, called the sliding two-dimensional fluctuation spectrum, used for detecting and characterising the temporal changes of drifting subpulses from radio pulsars. The method was tested using simulated data as well as archived observations made with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) at wavelengths of 92 and 21 cm.
Aims. The drifting subpulse phenomenon is a well known property of radio pulsars. It has been studied extensively since their discovery, however the properties of the temporal behaviour of drifting subpulses are not fully explored. The drifting can also be non-coherent and the presence of effects like nulling or drift rate changing can mask the drifting behaviour of the pulsar. The S2DFS is a robust method for investigating this phenomenon and by introducing it we aim to expand our knowledge of the temporal drifting subpulse properties.
Methods. Our new analysis method uses horizonally collapsed fluctuation spectra obtained with the two-dimensional fluctuation spectrum (2DFS) method. Stacking the collapsed spectra obtained in a 256 pulse window which slides by a pulse at a time produces a map of the collapsed fluctuation spectrum (S2DFS plot). By analysing the maps one can easily determine the presence of any temporal drift changes.
Results. Simulated data showed that the technique can reveal the presence of any temporal changes in drift behaviour like mode changing or nulling. We have also analysed data of three pulsars, PSRs B0031-07, B1819-22 and B1944+17, which were selected based on the quality of the data and their known drift properties. All three sources are known to exhibit mode changes which could easily be seen in the S2DFS.
Conclusions. The results from the analysis of the data sets used in this paper have shown that the S2DFS method is robust and complimentary to the 2DFS method in detecting and characterising the temporal changes in drifting subpulses from radio pulsars.
Key words: methods: analytical / pulsars: general
© ESO, 2009