New Parkes instrument paper published in PASA

Categories SETI

We’re pleased to announce that our journal article detailing the Breakthrough Listen data recorder at the Parkes radio telescope has been published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

The Breakthrough-Parkes data recorder digitises signals from the radio telescope and distributes the data across a cluster of high-performance computers. The system uses digital signal processing boards designed for radio astronomy by the CASPER collaboration, which outputs digitized data over high-speed Ethernet. The digitized data–more than 128 Gb/s–are then recorded to disk across 26 compute servers. We use graphics processing units (NVIDIA GTX 1080) to convert these data into products that can be searched for artificial signals that may indicate the presence of advanced life beyond Earth.

We are also opening up our digital recorder to other astronomers, so they can take advantage of the unique capabilities of our system. Applications for shared-risk observations with the Breakthrough-Parkes data recorder can now be made via the ATNF observing proposal portal, and some extra info is available here.

Further technical details may be found in the paper. A freely-available preprint can be downloaded from arXiv.