DETERMINATION OF THE ROTATION MEASURE VALUE SIGN WHEN RECEIVING A SINGLE LINEAR POLARIZATION OF THE PULSAR RADIO EMISSION

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15407/rpra25.04.253

O. M. Ulyanov, A. I. Shevtsova, S. M. Yerin

Abstract


Purpose: The studies of pulsars allow enriching our knowledge in determination of parameters of both the exotic electron-positron plasma in the pulsar magnetosphere with strong magnetic field and the ordinary ion-electron plasma of the interstellar medium, which exists in a weak magnetic field. To determine the parameters of the both plasma types it is reasonable to use polarization characteristics of a pulsed radio emission of pulsars. An accurate determination of these characteristics is quite a complex problem. For its solving, primarily we have to determine two parameters of the propagation medium – its dispersion and rotation measures. Their absolute values can be determined with the relative precision of 10-4, but the problem of rotation measure value sign determination arises. This sign depends on the interstellar magnetic field direction along the line of sight. Hear, a new method of rotation measure value sign determination is proposed.

Design/methodology/approach: Muller polarization matrices are usually used for determination of such a propagation parameter as the rotation measure absolute value. When only one linear polarization is received, using of these matrices allows quite accurate determining the absolute value of the rotation measure, but not the sign of this parameter due to a certain symmetry of these matrices with respect to the direction of the linear polarization rotation plane. If we complement the system of equations, which determines the rotation measure value, with some new additional components, which take into account the contributions of the Earth ionosphere and magnetosphere to the rotation measure value, one can notice that this contribution is always positive in the Southern magnetic hemisphere (the majority of the Northern geographical hemisphere) and is always negative in the Northern magnetic hemisphere (the majority of the Southern geographical hemisphere). Moreover, the absolute value of this contribution is maximal at noon and minimal at midnight, when the concentration of ions in the Earth ionosphere is maximal and minimal, respectively. Accounting for these regularities allows to determine not only the absolute value of the rotation measure, but also its sign by means of two independent time-shifted estimations of the observed absolute value of this parameter for various ionization degrees of the Earth ionosphere.

Findings: We show that using of additional equations, which take into account the contribution of the Earth ionosphere and magnetosphere to the value of the rotation measure parameter, allows full determination of this parameter accounting for the sign of this value even for the antennas, which can record a single linear polarization only. This approach allows to determine all polarization parameters of the pulsar radio emission as well as of the pulsed or continuum polarized radio emission of other cosmic sources.

Conclusions: The paper presents the results of measurement of the rotation measure for the two closest to the Earth pulsars, namely J0814+7429 (B0809+74), J0953+0755 (B0950+08), and the comparison of the proposed technique for this parameter determination with other existing techniques.

Key words: pulse, dispersion measure, rotation measure, plasma, polarization, pulsar, radio telescope

Manuscript submitted 12.11.2020 

Radio phys. radio astron. 2020, 25(4): 253-267

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Keywords


pulse; dispersion measure; rotation measure; plasma; polarization; pulsar; radio telescope

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