Important Note: PSRCHIVE 8 fully supports both TEMPO and TEMPO2, a transition that started with version 7.0. For developers, the main consequences are that the Archive class interfaces to the telescope code and polyco/psrephem classes have been modified. Software that used the previous interfaces will need to be updated in order to compile against version 7 and later.

New Features in PSRCHIVE 8.2

Version 8.2 corrects a memory management issue in multi-threaded programs, and is released as a stable point of reference for dspsr development. A small number of other compilation issues are also fixed in this release.

Version 8.2 is also the first release to implement the I/O routines for PSRFITS version 3; this latest specification has had significant input from Paul Demorest and Scott Ransom.

New Features in PSRCHIVE 8.1

Version 8.1 supports four new file formats and fixes a number of bugs that were encountered along the way. Some significant advances have also been implemented in the pcm program, and the interfaces with TEMPO and the Intel Math Kernel Library FFT interface have been updated.

Data formats: Several new file formats are now supported (load-only):

  • ASP FITS files from the Astronomy Signal Processor series of coherent dedipersion backends (ASP at Arecibo; GASP at Green Bank; LBP at Nancay).
  • Fold-mode WAPP files from the Wideband Arecibo Pulsar Processor backend.
  • BPP ("c*.dat") files from the Berkeley Pulsar Processor series of coherent dedispersion backends (ABPP at Arecibo; GBPP at Green Bank; NBPP at Nancay).
  • PuMa files from the Dutch Pulsar Machine at Westerbork can be loaded if the PuMa library maintained at the University of Amsterdam is installed.
See the file format-specific release notes for known issues and more information about the new formats.

Bugs Fixed: The following fixes were implemented:

  • the configure script will use gfortran if g77 fails to cooperate with g++
  • use of Intel Math Kernel Library FFT is now thread safe
  • use of FFTW2 is disabled (double precision library can cause segfaults)
  • Tempo2 dependencies are now better tested by configure script
  • the output of vap is now friendlier to other shell tools, such as grep
  • dark horizontal bands in phase vs. frequency image of pazi were fixed
  • the reference epoch is preserved when zapping subintegrations with paz
  • the start time is preserved by the PSRFITS file loader
  • PSRFITS loader will not fail if FD_POLN is undefined
  • pat correctly chooses the last harmonic when matrix template matching
  • pat can apply a fscrunched standard to any number of observed channels
  • psradd -R can now be used on calibrator archives
  • psrchive_ldflags now works on Mac OS 10.5
  • pdv now compiles without CFITSIO
  • it is again possible to specifiy the x-axis in phase vs. frequency plot

Polarimetric Calibration: The pcm program now normalizes the input Stokes parameters by the mean of the invariant interval over all on-pulse phase bins. The advantages of this approach are significant because the mean invariant: 1) is seldom <= 0, even when there are highly polarized phase bins; 2) is more normally distributed; and 3) has greater S/N.

TEMPO polyco creation: PSRCHIVE programs will now issue a warning if the residual rms between the best-fit polynomial and the model is greater than 10 microperiods. See for more information.

New Features in PSRCHIVE 8.0

Version 8.0 includes a number of new developments:

TEMPO2 Support: George Hobbs has helped to fully integrate TEMPO2 Predictor (like the TEMPO polyco) functionality into PSRCHIVE. This includes the generation of new predictors using the TEMPO2 library and the extended list of TEMPO2 parameters. It does not yet include the frequency dependent computation of pulse phase.

PSRFITS Support: Paul Demorest has helped to define a mininum acceptable PSRFITS file, and the relevant PSRFITS I/O code has been updated to be much more flexible.

Compiler Support: Paul Demorest has helped to get PSRCHIVE compiling with the GNU Compiler Collection version 4.2.

Parameter Query: David Smith has ported vap to SourceForge and expanded the program to output a greater range of header parameters.

Data Visualization: David Smith has ported pav to SourceForge and implemented many of the old favourite plots. Many of these are also available in psrplot, which has had some new features added, such as looping through archive dimensions (sub-integration, frequency channel, polarization, and potentially more).

Period and Dispersion Measure Refinement: Albert Teoh and Jonathan Khoo have migrated pdmp to SourceForge.

RFI Mitigation: A new "lawn mowing" algorithm has been added to paz and pazi to help smooth out zero-DM impulsive interference.

SIMD Support: The SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) features of FFTW3 are now exploited to provide greater efficiency on platforms that support this instruction set.

Polarimetric Calibration: Time variations of instrumental backend parameters (absolute gain, differential gain, and differential phase) can now be modelled by pcm using either polynomials or multiple step functions.

Various Bug Fixes: In addition to the new features described above, a fairly long list of bugs have been sorted out. If interested in details, please see the online Bug Tracker. (Select Status: Closed, Group: Version 8.0 and click Browse.)