Photo of Casey Law

Casey Law

Assistant Project Astronomer


  • 267 Campbell Hall


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Research Interests

My research currently focuses on developing radio interferometers in the study of fast (subsecond) transients. Transients on this time scale are typically observed with large, single-dish radio telescopes or phased interferometers. My work is different in that I use the raw product of an interfermeter (visibilities) to search for fast transients. This effectively makes interferometers into high speed cameras that can find and localize radio transients over a wide field of view.

At the Very Large Array (VLA), I am applying this concept to a 1 TB/hour data stream to search for Fast Radio Bursts, a potentially revolutionary new class of fast radio transient. This torrential data stream requires real-time transient detection algorithms in order to avoid being overwhelmed by the data deluge. I am also collaborating on a project to implement this real-time transient search algorithm to search VLA data commensally, that is, in tandem with other observations. Real-time, commensal transient searches will open up thousands of hours per year and allow us to find and identify the progenitors of FRBs, pulsars, and other classes of fast radio transient.


realfast: Fast Transient Surveys with the VLA

Radio and optical (inset) images of the first precision localization of a fast radio burst

realfast is a new instrument dedicated to millisecond transient surveys at the Very Large Array (VLA). A major motivation for this system is to search for Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), a mysterious, new class of fast radio transient. Each realfast FRB detection will be localized so precisely that we can identify their multiwavelength associations, such as a host galaxy. This was proven with the first realfast discovery, the first subarcsecond FRB localization and association with a host galaxy. More information available at

More about realfast: Fast Transient Surveys with the VLA