[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2018.
As new radio telescopes and processing facilities are being built, the amount of data
that has to be processed is growing continuously. This poses significant challenges,
especially if the real-time processing is required, which is important for surveys
for poorly understood objects, such as Fast Radio Bursts, where quick detection and
localisation can enable rapid follow-up observations at different frequencies. With
data rates increasing all the time, new processing techniques using the newest hardware,
such as GPUs, have to be developed.
A new pipeline, called PAFINDER, has been developed to process data taken with
a phased array feed, which can generate up to 36 beams on the sky, with data rates
25 GBps per beam. With the majority of work done on GPUs, the pipeline reaches
real-time performance when generating filterbank files used for offline processing.
The full real-time processing, including single-pulse searches has also been implemented
and has been shown to perform well under favourable conditions. The pipeline was successfully
used to record and process data containing observations of RRAT J1819-1458 and positions
on the sky where 3 FRBs have been observed previously, including the repeating FRB121102.
Detailed examination of J1819-1458 single-pulse detections revealed a complex emission
environment with pulses coming from three different rotation phase bands and a number
of multi-component emissions. No new FRBs and no repeated bursts from FRB121102 have
The GMRT High Resolution Southern Sky survey observes the sky at high galactic
latitudes, searching for new pulsars and FRBs. 127 hours of data have been searched
for the presence of any new bursts, with the help of new pipeline developed for this
survey. No new FRBs have been found, which can be the result of bad RFI pollution,
which was not fully removed despite new techniques being developed and combined
with the existing solutions to mitigate these negative effects. Using the best estimates
on the total amount of data that has been processed correctly, obtained using new
single-pulse simulation software, no detections were found to be consistent with the
expected rates for standard candle FRBs with a flat or positive spectrum.