Skip to main content

Signals from deep space: WVU students develop AI to detect fast radio bursts


West Virginia University’s Duncan Lorimer might be the godfather of the fast radio burst, but a pair of international students has taken exploring these mysterious cosmic flashes to a new level.

In 2007, Lorimer was credited for helping discover fast radio bursts - intense, unexplained pulses of energy, light years away, that pop for mere milliseconds. Ever since, only around 100 have been spotted.

But astronomers knew there were more out there. One major obstacle to new discoveries came in the form of researchers having to manually read data plots, recorded with radio telescopes, for hours on end.

Devansh Agarwal and Kshitij Aggarwal, both physics and astronomy graduate students from India, recognized this painstaking task so they developed a quicker, more efficient way to detect fast radio bursts. They created artificial intelligent, machine-learning software that sifts through the endless clutters of data.

Read the full story here.