Helping discover pulsars and Fast Radio Bursts

The ARTEMIS group in Oxford design, develop and exploit real-time processors for the discovery of pulsars and Fast Radio Bursts, using many-core technology and intelligent algorithms.

ARTEMIS is a collaborative project between Oxford Astrophysics, the Oxford e-Research Centre and Engineering Science.

Plot of the latest results from the LOFAR-UK ARTEMIS survey

Waiting for data

The Artemis Software Pipelines: AMPP

The ARTEMIS software is made up of data receptors, processing modules and output streamers. Data communications (memory and network) are managed by the PELICAN framework. There are currently modules for:

  • Channelization of raw complex data using a polyphase filter
  • Generation of Stokes parameters
  • Real-time RFI excision in total power
  • Integration
  • Dispersion searching for fast transients using GPUs

AMPP is developed to contain sequential processing and asynchronous tasks, shown schematically below:

ampp design

Hardware and network layout of LOFAR international stations

The ARTEMIS machines process the 3.2 Gbps of beamformed data from LOFAR stations. Data flow is shown on the diagram below. The blue components are part of the station hardware. The orange components are parts of ARTEMIS.

Storage servers are optional. The column on the right provides all the relevant numbers for observations. The machines we are using are the Dell PowerEdge C6100: 4 dual socket motherboards with a total of 8 Intel Xeon 5650 CPUs and the Dell PowerEdge C410x PCIe expansion box with 4 Nvidia Tesla M2050 graphics cards.

ARTEMIS diagram

Example results

AMPP sample