Research

or stuff that excites me and keeps me up at night …

Image Sources: Lorimer Burst, GBT, VLA, Arecibo

My research focuses on study of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). Discovered by Duncan Lorimer in 2007, these bursts are very bright flashes in the sky, originating in the galaxies far far away. As the name suggests, FRBs have been seen only at radio frequencies (400MHz-8GHz). Therefore, I use the amazing radio telescopes in US (VLA, GBT, Arecibo) to search for these enigmatic phenomenon. Sarah Burke-Spolaor does the difficult job of supervising my PhD and making sure that I set realistic goals.

I am a part of the Realfast collaboration, which performs real-time fast transients searches using VLA. Taking advantage of the large baselines of VLA antennas (and the fact that it is an interferometer), the Realfast system can localize FRBs to a very small region in sky (~sub-arcseconds). This is useful as localization is necessary to pin-point FRBs to individual galaxies, which is essential to identify their progenitors.

I also think about efficient search and classification algorithms for FRBs. I (along with Devansh) developed a Deep Learning based classifier called Fetch for classification of FRB candidates from noise (RFI) candidates. Fetch is currently being used at more than half a dozen radio telescopes all around the world, and has detected new bursts which I cannot talk about here :P.

I am leading a project called TPP (The Petabyte Project) which aims to perform a uniform sensitivity automated search for FRBs on more than a petabyte of archival data. The pipeline for this project is currently under active development.

A full list of my publications can be found here.