Amateur Pulsar Observations - Joe Martin (K5SO)

NOTE: All images presented here and most of the text has been downloaded with permission from this website.

Joe has been successful by detecting 17 pulsars (as of end-January 2019).  He has an impressive setup (recently upgraded - 2018) as shown below.

The latest list of detections can be found here.

Antenna

The 8.6 m diameter antenna used at K5SO to observe pulsars.

The parabolic dish antenna is operated at a wavelength of roughly 70 cm (436 MHz).

Horizontal or vertical polarization is remotely selectable from the telescope operating position.

Operating Position

The very impressive and enviable operating position at K5SO.

The antenna position control system means that pulsars can be tracked by the antenna for hours on end allowing integration of the received signals.  Typical observation times are several hours.

System Block Diagram

Overall configuration of the pulsar detection system.

NOTE:  Joe has recently (end-of-2018) upgraded his already impressive system as shown below...

A very comprehensive setup !!!

Some Example Results

The results of detection of pulsars with the new system are given by Joe.  The examples given below are B0329+54, B1620+28 and B1749-28. Go to Joe's pulsar detections webpage for the latest results.

B0329+54 (J032+5434) 20 Minute Acquisition

This pulsar is the second strongest of all pulsars at 400 MHz (1500 mJy) after the Vela pulsar (5000 mJy).

Joe's result for a short 20 minute observation of B0329+54 at 436 MHz with a bandwidth of 25 MHz using an USRP X310 SDR and the PRESTO pulsar suite of programs is shown below.

An excellent result !!!

B1749-28 (J1752-2806) 2 Hour Acquisition

The B1749-28 pulsar is slightly weaker than B0329+54 at 400 MHz (1100 mJy vs 1500 mJy).

Joe's result for a 2 hour observation of B1749-28 at 436 MHz with a bandwidth of 25 MHz using an USRP X310 SDR and the PRESTO pulsar suite of programs is shown below.

Another excellent result.

B1620+28 (J1618+2839) 4 Hour Acquisition

The B1620+28 pulsar is weaker again than B0329+54 at 400 MHz (324 mJy vs 1500 mJy).

Joe's result for a 4 hour observation of B1620+28 at 436 MHz with a bandwidth of 25 MHz using an USRP X310 SDR and the PRESTO pulsar suite of programs is shown below.

Still another excellent result even with the occurrence of significant RFI in the last hour of observation.

Joe's results show clearly what can be done by an amateur radio astronomer and, although his setup is most certainly 'un-amateur-ish' in quality, it nonetheless is an encouragement to others who are up for a challenge.

Go to Joe's pulsar detections webpage for the latest results.