Service or Tool

The Swinburne Pulsar Portal

Also known as: SPP
Swinburne University of Technology
Andrew Jameson (Owned by) Matthew Bailes (Owned by) Willem van Straten (Owned by)
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Access rights

The portal is accessed via the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing

Brief description

The Swinburne Pulsar Portal (SPP) is best described as a Virtual Observatory, an online tool facilitating remote access to and processing of pulsar data from the CSIRO Parkes Observatory. The SPP is being developed by the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing's active Pulsar Research Group and maintained on the university's gSTAR Supercomputer.

Full description

The Swinburne Pulsar Portal (SPP) is best described as a Virtual Observatory, an online tool facilitating remote access to and processing of pulsar data from the CSIRO Parkes Observatory. The SPP is being developed by the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing's active Pulsar Research Group and maintained on the university's gSTAR Supercomputer.

Unlike traditional data archives, the SPP leverages the power of the supercomputer to enable users to conduct sophisticated analysis using advanced computational tools, backed by significant analyses using advanced computational tools. This set up alleviates the guesswork associated with setting up and maintaining the necessary hardware and software infrastructure.

The Swinburne Pulsar Portal operates as a MySQL database with a PHP front end and accesses a Petabyte scale database stored on gSTAR. The portal leverages the processing power of the batch queue system, enabling sophisticated reprocessing of large pulsar datasets to both public and registered uses. The MySQL server will store instrumental and astrophysical metadata for the the HTRU and other pulsar surveys take over ten years, and representing ~10,000 hours of observations. High-level analysis toosls are provided so that non-expert users can produce scientific quality processing of pulsar data.

 

Data products:

The primary data products, accessible via the portal, are observational datasets (P630) from the High Time Resolution Survey (HTRU, P630) and the Pulsar Timing Array (P140). These surveys have been running for ~5 years at Parkes Observatory, and have already found over 100 new pulsars, including 26 so-called “millisecond” pulsars, including the celebrated “Diamond Planet”. Pulsars are the extremely dense and rapidly spinning cores of stars occasionally left behind after they explode as supernovae. Pulsars have the potential to test physics in fundamental ways, and pulsar research has already led to two Nobel prizes – for their discovery, and the validation of gravitational radiation as predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Accurate timing of pulsar rotations has the potential to lead to the direct detection of gravity waves (oscillations in space-time) induced by supermassive black holes, one of the major predictions of General Relativity. These surveys have revealed the distribution of pulsars in the Milky Way better than ever before and how they relate to the more ordinary stars from which they are born.

 

The gSTAR Supercomputing Facility:

Swinburne's gSTAR facility is a 1600+ core supercomputing cluster that hosts three tape orbits with over 400 Teraflops of computational power. In total up to 400 Teraflops of computational muscle will sift through over 1000 Terabytes of data for the duration of the surveys. gSTAR already provides the international astrophysical community with a GPU- based facility for performing world-class simulations and to enable rapid processing of telescope data. Funding for gSTAR is provided by anEducational Investment Fund (EIF) grant obtained in-cooperations with (and administered by) Astronomy Australia Limited (AAL). It is hosted at Swinburne and operated as a national facility.

 

Identifiers
  • Local : swin-mint: 1ee1e48a82466da15a953a900e3a5048