Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are extremely luminous, millisecond duration radio pulses of unknown origin. While many FRBs are transient events, a few sources are confirmed to be the progenitor of multiple bursts. These "repeaters" offer an extraordinary chance to study the properties of mysterious FRB signals. The FRB121102 source was the first repeater to have ever been discovered and it has since provided us with a wealth of data to be analyzed. A unique feature of repeaters, including FRB121102, is the presence of a multicomponent burst structure. This is a phenomenon where individual portions of the burst are separated in time. Understanding the true fraction of FRBs which contain a multicomponent structure will place limitations on the physical mechanisms which can potentially emit the bursts. We investigate this feature within the Breakthrough Listen data of FRB121102. Breakthrough Listen recorded an observation that detected 21 FRBs in one hour, making it a great source of uniform data. Our analysis compares the shapes of multicomponent and single-component bursts within the Breakthrough Listen data set. We measure fluence distribution shape using statistical moments. This process is original work which provides a new method of analysis for FRB research. Through artificial reduction of the signal-to-noise ratio of multicomponent bursts, we observe how their shape changes compared to single-component bursts. This demonstrates the potential for multicomponent burst structure to be "washed out" by noise, making some FRBs appear as single-component to the observer. We assert that the true fraction of multicomponent bursts could potentially be larger than observed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Radio sources (Astronomy); Radio astronomy; Astronomical spectroscopy--Data processing

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Astrophysical Sciences and Technology (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


Andrew Robinson

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Richmond

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Lam


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes