Abstract The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) will become one of the world-leading telescopes for pulsar timing array (PTA) research. The primary goals for PTAs are to detect (and subsequently study) ultra-low-frequency gravitational waves, to develop a pulsar-based time standard and to improve solar system planetary ephemerides. FAST will have the sensitivity to observe known pulsars with significantly improved signal-to-noise ratios and will discover a large number of currently unknown pulsars. We describe how FAST will contribute to PTA research and show that jitter- and timing-noise will be the limiting noise processes for FAST data sets. Jitter noise will limit the timing precision achievable over data spans of a few years while timing noise will limit the precision achievable over many years.
Keywords stars: pulsars — gravitational waves
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