Real-time computational requirements of autonomous systems for astronomical discovery

Modern astronomical surveys produce data sets that completely overwhelm human capacity for analysis based on traditional methods. Using radio pulsar surveys as an example, I will discuss how the SKA necessitates completely autonomous systems that are capable of scheduling observations, classifying potential discoveries, and deriving physically meaningful results (e.g. through modeling) from the measurements.


Dr. Willem van Straten

Willem van Straten is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology at Swinburne University of Technology, where he studies pulsars as a member of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing. After completing his PhD on high-precision pulsar timing, Willem enjoyed post-doctoral appointments at the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy (ASTRON) and The Centre for Gravitational Wave Astronomy (The University of Texas at Brownsville). He is the primary author and maintainer of two scientific data analysis packages used by the international community of pulsar astronomers, and he is currently leading the design of the pulsar timing instrumentation for the Square Kilometre Array.

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