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.