Gelu Nita (NJIT): Spectral Kurtosis Statistics of Transient Signals

Seminar | March 27 | 3:10-4 p.m. | 131 Campbell Hall

 Gelu Nita, Center for Solar Terrestrial Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology

 Radio Astronomy Lab

Due to its conceptual simplicity and its proven effectiveness in real-time detection and removal of radio frequency interference (RFI) from radio astronomy data, the Spectral Kurtosis (SK) estimator is likely to become a standard tool embedded in the FPGA/GPU signal processing pipelines of a new generation of radio telescopes. Nevertheless, the SK estimator may be equally sensitive to astronomical transient signals of interest, which might be mistakenly flagged by a blind SK-based RFI excision algorithm. However, as I will demonstrate in my talk, rather than being a limitation of its practical applicability, this particular sensitivity of the SK estimator to transient signals may be exploited not only to detect them, but also to discriminate their statistical nature, and quantitatively characterize their physical properties. Based on theoretical expectations, numerical simulations, and experimental validation, I suggest a novel multiscale Spectral Kurtosis spectrometer design optimized for real-time detection and statistical discrimination of transient signals of terrestrial or extraterrestrial origin.