Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Kevin Bandura

Committee Co-Chair

Natalia Schmid

Committee Member

Natalia Schmid

Committee Member

Duncan Lorimer

Committee Member

David Graham

Committee Member

Daryl Reynolds


Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are millisecond-duration, bright radio transients of extragalactic origin. The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope’s CHIME/FRB instrument and other radio telescopes across the globe have detected hundreds of FRBs. Their origins are a mystery. Precise localization within the host is critical to distinguish between progenitor models. This can be achieved through Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). Until now, VLBI localizations have only been carried out in targeted follow-up observations of some repeating sources which comprise a small fraction of the FRBs.

For this work, an interferometric array of 6m dishes was constructed at the Green Bank Observatory as a pathfinder to develop the necessary systems, technology, and techniques to enable VLBI on FRBs. This array called TONE has 8 instrumented dishes and works as a VLBI outrigger for CHIME on a \SI{\sim3300}{\kilo\meter} baseline. This involved construction, commissioning, and integration of the custom analog chains and digital system. TONE is pointed to shadow a portion of the CHIME primary beam at a fixed declination of \SI{22}{\deg}. Upon detection of a single dispersed pulse such as an FRB or a giant pulse from the Crab pulsar, CHIME alerts TONE, triggering a recording of buffered data to disk. In addition to TONE, a single 10-m dish at Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO10) is set up with a similar infrastructure. Together they form the pathfinders for conducting VLBI for FRBs.

We used these VLBI pathfinders to localize FRB 20210603A at the time of detection. The baseband data from CHIME and TONE are used to synthesize single beams at each telescope. The single-beam data from TONE and data from ARO10 are each cross-correlated with the single beam data from CHIME. We use the Crab pulsar for astrometric calibration and additionally correct for clock errors. The calibrated and corrected cross-correlated data is sampled with a likelihood function of the sky location and ionospheric effects using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method to estimate the Right Ascension and Declination of the FRB. We localize the burst to SDSS J004105.82+211331.9, an edge-on quiescent lenticular galaxy at redshift z $\approx 0.177$. The localization, dispersion measure, rotation measure (RM), and temporal broadening are consistent with an observed line-of-sight through the host galactic disk, suggesting a progenitor from a population coincident with the host galactic plane.

The development of the TONE telescope has enabled the localization of the FRB within the host. This is a key stepping stone towards constraining the origins and host environments of FRBs.