Vol 20, No 12

The influences of observational strategies of pulsar timing on the properties of pulsar clocks

Zhe-Hao Zhang, Ming-Lei Tong, Cheng-Shi Zhao, Xing-Zhi Zhu, Feng Gao


Abstract Pulsars are very stable spinning stars, which have the potential to application in the work of time-keeping and autonomous navigation in deep space. For time application, an individual pulsar can be regarded as a clock. The accuracy and stability of a pulsar clock are mainly determined by various timing noises and the measurement errors; however, they would be affected by the concrete observational strategy. Taking four millisecond pulsars from the first data released by International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) as an example, we investigated the influences of different observational strategies on the properties of pulsar clocks by removing some data in various ways. We find that the long-term stabilities of pulsar clocks are nearly not affected by increasing the observational cadence with a fixed time span. It is also found that the capabilities of prediction by pulsar clocks are also hardly affected by different observational strategies, which is reflected by both the stable weighted root-mean-square (wrms) and the stability of the resulting pre-fit timing residuals, unless the data span is too short or the data period is too far from the start of prediction.


Keywords methods: data analysis — time — pulsars: general

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