Title

The NANOGrav 11-year Data Set: High-precision Timing of 45 Millisecond Pulsars

Abstract

We present high-precision timing data over time spans of up to 11 years for 45 millisecond pulsars observed as part of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project, aimed at detecting and characterizing low-frequency gravitational waves. The pulsars were observed with the Arecibo Observatory and/or the Green Bank Telescope at frequencies ranging from 327 MHz to 2.3 GHz. Most pulsars were observed with approximately monthly cadence, and six high-timing-precision pulsars were observed weekly. All were observed at widely separated frequencies at each observing epoch in order to fit for time-variable dispersion delays. We describe our methods for data processing, time-of-arrival (TOA) calculation, and the implementation of a new, automated method for removing outlier TOAs. We fit a timing model for each pulsar that includes spin, astrometric, and (for binary pulsars) orbital parameters; time-variable dispersion delays; and parameters that quantify pulse-profile evolution with frequency. The timing solutions provide three new parallax measurements, two new Shapiro delay measurements, and two new measurements of significant orbital-period variations. We fit models that characterize sources of noise for each pulsar. We find that 11 pulsars show significant red noise, with generally smaller spectral indices than typically measured for non-recycled pulsars, possibly suggesting a different origin. A companion paper uses these data to constrain the strength of the gravitational-wave background.

Publisher

American Astronomical Society

Publication Date

1-1-2018

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal: Supplement Series

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.3847/1538-4365/aab5b0

Language

English

Format

text

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