Approved Key Projects


Key Projects
Title PI name Abstract
The Commensal Radio Astronomy FAST Survey (CRAFTS) Di Li Enabled by our proprietary calibration  technique, CRAFTS  will be the first large-scale commensal survey, which  simultanesouly obtain HI images, pulsars, HI galaxies, and FRBs .
The Galactic Plane Pulsar Snapshot (GPPS) survey JinLin Han The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Tetelscope (FAST), together with the excellent 19-beam L-band receiver with a system temperature of about 20 K, is the most sensitive radio telescope to discover pulsars. We designed the snapshot observation mode for the Galactic Plane Pulsar Snapshot (GPPS) survey, in which every 4 nearby pointings to observe a cover of a sky area of 0.1575 square degrees can be realized through beam-switching of the 19-beam receiver. The integration time for each pointing is 300 seconds, so that the GPPS observations for a cover can be made in 21 minutes. The goal of the GPPS sur_x0002_vey is to discover pulsars within the Galactic latitude of \pm10 degree from the Galactic plane, and with the highest priority given to the inner Galaxy within \pm5 degree. The goal is to discover 1000 pulsars, with the hope to find exotic pulsars, such as submillisecond pulsars, binary pulsars with compact orbit, transient radio bursts from rotating neutron stars (RRATs).
Pulsar timing: Chinese pulsar timing array Kejia Lee In order to study gravitational processes at a cosmological scale and gravitational wave (GW) physics in a long run, we look for the gravitational wave from super massive blackhole binaries. The major, if not the unique, method to detect GW in such a nano-Hertz frequency band is to use the pulsar timing array (PTA) technique. PTA is a missing but critical piece of jigsaw puzzle for the atlas of gravitational wave astronomy. It is necessary for FAST to perform PTA observation to further develop the GW astronomy. FAST pulsar timing is the backbone of Chinese Pulsar Timing Array (CPTA) collaboration. We expect the breakthrough in a short timescale. CPTA will join the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) collaboration and play the vital role. In China, FAST high precision pulsar timing will further develop the fields of GW detection, fundamental physics study, and high precision metrology. The proposal aims at observing 46 millisecond pulsars in the IPTA list. We focus on 1) accumulating data and achieving the best GW upper limit to study the binary blackhole merger processes; 2)pulse jitter, red noise analysis, and developing pulsar time scale; 3) measuring pulsar mass to a better precision to explore the zero-temperature nuclear physics; 4) studying the solar system dynamics and probing the solar system acceleration in the Milky way.
HI Mapping and pulsars searching toward M31 region Jie Wang We will mapping a region of 700 square degrees around the M31 and its dark matter halo with about 700 FAST hours. In this survey, we will try to study the HVC mass function, HI satellite mass function in M31 halo, and cold CGM and ICM in the M31-M33 systems. Also a very deep commensal survey on the M31 galaxy for a ultra-deep HI mapping and pulsar searching will be carried out. Combined with other multi-band information, we could investigate into the detailed physics on the star formation in this nearest neighbour galaxy.
Fast radio burst searches and multi-wavelength observations Bing Zhang, Weiwei Zhu Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are a new type of mysterious astrophysical transients discovered in 2007. This key project aims at monitoring and observing known and potential FRB sources taking advantage of the high sensitivity of FAST. Simultaneous multi-wavelength observations will be coordinated. We plan to perform observations in the following four directions. 1. Regularly monitor known repeating FRB sources (such as FRB 121102 and 180301); 2. Monitor new repeating sources (such as the ones discovered by FAST and other telescopes such as CHIME); 3. Observe other one-off FRB sources that have not repeated yet, trying to search for possible repeated bursts; 4. Monitor some sources that could be potentially FRB emitters, including soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs), nearby star burst galaxies, and GRB/SLSN remnants. When feasible, multi-wavelength observations will be carried out during FAST observing windows. The goal of the key project is to collect essential information to understand the origin, bursting mechanism and radiation mechanism of FRBs.
Pulsar timing:  Physics and evolution of pulsars Na Wang This project aims to perform timing observations on the new pulsars discovered by FAST. It involves monitoring of the rotations of the pulsars over 1-3 years, from which their parameters are measured and recorded in a catalogue. Based on this large sample, the population properties of FAST new pulsars can be examined, and their birth and evolution can be investigated in detail. For special pulsars, such as very young pulsars, intermittent pulsars and rotating radio transients, it is feasible to identify the external or internal origin of the timing noises, and to search for connection between pulsar braking and magnetospheric activities. The large timing data also allows the determination of astronomical and technical methods for improving the precision of pulsar timing. This project provides distinctive resources that enable the exploration into the orbital motions of binaries and testing of the related relativistic effects, as well as offering unique study for the associated structures and physical properties of the circum-stellar materials and interstellar medium.