A Multi-telescope Campaign on FRB 121102: Implications for the FRB Population

November 2017 • 2017ApJ...850...76L

Authors • Law, C. J. • Abruzzo, M. W. • Bassa, C. G. • Bower, G. C. • Burke-Spolaor, S. • Butler, B. J. • Cantwell, T. • Carey, S. H. • Chatterjee, S. • Cordes, J. M. • Demorest, P. • Dowell, J. • Fender, R. • Gourdji, K. • Grainge, K. • Hessels, J. W. T. • Hickish, J. • Kaspi, V. M. • Lazio, T. J. W. • McLaughlin, M. A. • Michilli, D. • Mooley, K. • Perrott, Y. C. • Ransom, S. M. • Razavi-Ghods, N. • Rupen, M. • Scaife, A. • Scott, P. • Scholz, P. • Seymour, A. • Spitler, L. G. • Stovall, K. • Tendulkar, S. P. • Titterington, D. • Wharton, R. S. • Williams, P. K. G.

Abstract • We present results of the coordinated observing campaign that made the first subarcsecond localization of a fast radio burst, FRB 121102. During this campaign, we made the first simultaneous detection of an FRB burst using multiple telescopes: the VLA at 3 GHz and the Arecibo Observatory at 1.4 GHz. Of the nine bursts detected by the Very Large Array at 3 GHz, four had simultaneous observing coverage at other observatories at frequencies from 70 MHz to 15 GHz. The one multi-observatory detection and three non-detections of bursts seen at 3 GHz confirm earlier results showing that burst spectra are not well modeled by a power law. We find that burst spectra are characterized by a ∼500 MHz envelope and apparent radio energy as high as 1040 erg. We measure significant changes in the apparent dispersion between bursts that can be attributed to frequency-dependent profiles or some other intrinsic burst structure that adds a systematic error to the estimate of dispersion measure by up to 1%. We use FRB 121102 as a prototype of the FRB class to estimate a volumetric birth rate of FRB sources {R}{FRB}≈ 5× {10}-5/{N}r Mpc-3 yr-1, where N r is the number of bursts per source over its lifetime. This rate is broadly consistent with models of FRBs from young pulsars or magnetars born in superluminous supernovae or long gamma-ray bursts if the typical FRB repeats on the order of thousands of times during its lifetime.


IPAC Authors

Sean Carey

Senior Scientist