Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia

Research Article

DSPSR: Digital Signal Processing Software for Pulsar Astronomy

W. van Stratena1 c1 and M. Bailesa1

a1 Swinburne University of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia


dspsr is a high-performance, open-source, object-oriented, digital signal processing software library and application suite for use in radio pulsar astronomy. Written primarily in C++, the library implements an extensive range of modular algorithms that can optionally exploit both multiple-core processors and general-purpose graphics processing units. After over a decade of research and development, dspsr is now stable and in widespread use in the community. This paper presents a detailed description of its functionality, justification of major design decisions, analysis of phase-coherent dispersion removal algorithms, and demonstration of performance on some contemporary microprocessor architectures.

(Received June 28 2010)

(Accepted August 24 2010)


  • methods: data analysis;
  • polarisation;
  • pulsars: general;
  • techniques: polarimetric


c1 Corresponding author. Email: