Adaptive filters revisited: Radio frequency interference mitigation in pulsar observations



[1] Pulsar detection and timing experiments are applications where adaptive filters seem eminently suitable tools for radio frequency interference (RFI) mitigation. We describe a novel variant which works well in field trials of pulsar observations centered on an observing frequency of 675 MHz and a bandwidth of 64 MHz and with 2-bit sampling. Adaptive filters have generally received bad press for RFI mitigation in radio astronomical observations with their most serious drawback being a spectral echo of the RFI embedded in the filtered signals. Pulsar observations are intrinsically less sensitive to this as they operate in the (pulsar period) time domain. The field trials have allowed us to identify those issues which limit the effectiveness of the adaptive filter. We conclude that adaptive filters can significantly improve pulsar observations in the presence of RFI.