skip to main content

Title: Quantifying excess power from radio frequency interference in Epoch of Reionization measurements
ABSTRACT We quantify the effect of radio frequency interference (RFI) on measurements of the 21-cm power spectrum during the Epoch of Reionization (EoR). Specifically, we investigate how the frequency structure of RFI source emission generates contamination in higher order wave modes, which is much more problematic than smooth-spectrum foreground sources. Using a relatively optimistic EoR model, we find that even a single relatively dim RFI source can overwhelm the EoR power spectrum signal of $\sim 10\, {\rm mK}^2$ for modes $0.1 \ \lt k \lt 2 \, h\, {\rm Mpc}^{-1}$. If the total apparent RFI flux density in the final power spectrum integration is kept below 1 mJy, an EoR signal resembling this optimistic model should be detectable for modes $k \lt 0.9\, h\, {\rm Mpc}^{-1}$, given no other systematic contaminants and an error tolerance as high as 10 per cent. More pessimistic models will be more restrictive. These results emphasize the need for highly effective RFI mitigation strategies for telescopes used to search for the EoR.
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1643011
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10224851
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
498
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
265 to 275
ISSN:
0035-8711
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract The detection of the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) delay power spectrum using a ”foreground avoidance method” highly depends on the instrument chromaticity. The systematic effects induced by the radio-telescope spread the foreground signal in the delay domain, which contaminates the EoR window theoretically observable. Applied to the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), this paper combines detailed electromagnetic and electrical simulations in order to model the chromatic effects of the instrument, and quantify its frequency and time responses. In particular, the effects of the analogue receiver, transmission cables, and mutual coupling are included. These simulations are able to accurately predict the intensity of the reflections occurring in the 150-m cable which links the antenna to the back-end. They also show that electromagnetic waves can propagate from one dish to another one through large sections of the array due to mutual coupling. The simulated system time response is attenuated by a factor 104 after a characteristic delay which depends on the size of the array and on the antenna position. Ultimately, the system response is attenuated by a factor 105 after 1400 ns because of the reflections in the cable, which corresponds to characterizable k∥-modes above 0.7 $h\,\,\rm {Mpc}^{-1}$ at 150 MHz.more »Thus, this new study shows that the detection of the EoR signal with HERA Phase I will be more challenging than expected. On the other hand, it improves our understanding of the telescope, which is essential to mitigate the instrument chromaticity.« less
  2. ABSTRACT The 21 cm transition from neutral hydrogen promises to be the best observational probe of the epoch of reionization (EoR). The main difficulty in measuring the 21 cm signal is the presence of bright foregrounds that require very accurate interferometric calibration. Closure quantities may circumvent the calibration requirements but may be, however, affected by direction-dependent effects, particularly antenna primary beam responses. This work investigates the impact of antenna primary beams affected by mutual coupling on the closure phase and its power spectrum. Our simulations show that primary beams affected by mutual coupling lead to a leakage of foreground power into the EoR window, which can be up to ∼104 times higher than the case where no mutual coupling is considered. This leakage is, however, essentially confined at k < 0.3 h Mpc−1 for triads that include 29 m baselines. The leakage magnitude is more pronounced when bright foregrounds appear in the antenna sidelobes, as expected. Finally, we find that triads that include mutual coupling beams different from each other have power spectra similar to triads that include the same type of mutual coupling beam, indicating that beam-to-beam variation within triads (or visibility pairs) is not the major source of foreground leakage in the EoR window.
  3. Abstract We report upper limits on the Epoch of Reionization 21 cm power spectrum at redshifts 7.9 and 10.4 with 18 nights of data (∼36 hr of integration) from Phase I of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA). The Phase I data show evidence for systematics that can be largely suppressed with systematic models down to a dynamic range of ∼10 9 with respect to the peak foreground power. This yields a 95% confidence upper limit on the 21 cm power spectrum of Δ 21 2 ≤ ( 30.76 ) 2 mK 2 at k = 0.192 h Mpc −1 at z = 7.9, and also Δ 21 2 ≤ ( 95.74 ) 2 mK 2 at k = 0.256 h Mpc −1 at z = 10.4. At z = 7.9, these limits are the most sensitive to date by over an order of magnitude. While we find evidence for residual systematics at low line-of-sight Fourier k ∥ modes, at high k ∥ modes we find our data to be largely consistent with thermal noise, an indicator that the system could benefit from deeper integrations. The observed systematics could be due to radio frequency interference, cable subreflections, or residualmore »instrumental cross-coupling, and warrant further study. This analysis emphasizes algorithms that have minimal inherent signal loss, although we do perform a careful accounting in a companion paper of the small forms of loss or bias associated with the pipeline. Overall, these results are a promising first step in the development of a tuned, instrument-specific analysis pipeline for HERA, particularly as Phase II construction is completed en route to reaching the full sensitivity of the experiment.« less
  4. ABSTRACT We present the joint analysis of Neutral Hydrogen (H i) Intensity Mapping observations with three galaxy samples: the Luminous Red Galaxy (LRG) and Emission Line Galaxy (ELG) samples from the eBOSS survey, and the WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey sample. The H i intensity maps are Green Bank Telescope observations of the redshifted $21\rm cm$ emission on $100 \, {\rm deg}^2$ covering the redshift range 0.6 < z < 1.0. We process the data by separating and removing the foregrounds present in the radio frequencies with FastI ICA. We verify the quality of the foreground separation with mock realizations, and construct a transfer function to correct for the effects of foreground removal on the H i signal. We cross-correlate the cleaned H i data with the galaxy samples and study the overall amplitude as well as the scale dependence of the power spectrum. We also qualitatively compare our findings with the predictions by a semianalytical galaxy evolution simulation. The cross-correlations constrain the quantity $\Omega _{\rm {H\,\small {I}}} b_{\rm {H\,\small {I}}} r_{\rm {H\,\small {I}},{\rm opt}}$ at an effective scale keff, where $\Omega _\rm {H\,\small {I}}$ is the H  i density fraction, $b_\rm {H\,\small {I}}$ is the H i bias, and $r_{\rm {H\,\small {I}},{\rm opt}}$ the galaxy–hydrogen correlation coefficient,more »which is dependent on the H  i content of the optical galaxy sample. At $k_{\rm eff}=0.31 \, h\,{\rm Mpc^{-1}}$ we find $\Omega _{\rm {H\,\small {I}}} b_{\rm {H\,\small {I}}} r_{\rm {H\,\small {I}},{\rm Wig}} = [0.58 \pm 0.09 \, {\rm (stat) \pm 0.05 \, {\rm (sys)}}] \times 10^{-3}$ for GBT-WiggleZ, $\Omega _{\rm {H\,\small {I}}} b_{\rm {H\,\small {I}}} r_{\rm {H\,\small {I}},{\rm ELG}} = [0.40 \pm 0.09 \, {\rm (stat) \pm 0.04 \, {\rm (sys)}}] \times 10^{-3}$ for GBT-ELG, and $\Omega _{\rm {H\,\small {I}}} b_{\rm {H\,\small {I}}} r_{\rm {H\,\small {I}},{\rm LRG}} = [0.35 \pm 0.08 \, {\rm (stat) \pm 0.03 \, {\rm (sys)}}] \times 10^{-3}$ for GBT-LRG, at z ≃ 0.8. We also report results at $k_{\rm eff}=0.24$ and $k_{\rm eff}=0.48 \, h\,{\rm Mpc^{-1}}$. With little information on H i parameters beyond our local Universe, these are amongst the most precise constraints on neutral hydrogen density fluctuations in an underexplored redshift range.« less
  5. Abstract The CO Mapping Array Project (COMAP) aims to use line-intensity mapping of carbon monoxide (CO) to trace the distribution and global properties of galaxies over cosmic time, back to the Epoch of Reionization (EoR). To validate the technologies and techniques needed for this goal, a Pathfinder instrument has been constructed and fielded. Sensitive to CO(1–0) emission from z = 2.4–3.4 and a fainter contribution from CO(2–1) at z = 6–8, the Pathfinder is surveying 12 deg 2 in a 5 yr observing campaign to detect the CO signal from z ∼ 3. Using data from the first 13 months of observing, we estimate P CO ( k ) = −2.7 ± 1.7 × 10 4 μ K 2 Mpc 3 on scales k = 0.051 −0.62 Mpc −1 , the first direct three-dimensional constraint on the clustering component of the CO(1–0) power spectrum. Based on these observations alone, we obtain a constraint on the amplitude of the clustering component (the squared mean CO line temperature bias product) of Tb 2 < 49 μ K 2 , nearly an order-of-magnitude improvement on the previous best measurement. These constraints allow us to rule out two models from the literature. We forecastmore »a detection of the power spectrum after 5 yr with signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) 9–17. Cross-correlation with an overlapping galaxy survey will yield a detection of the CO–galaxy power spectrum with S/N of 19. We are also conducting a 30 GHz survey of the Galactic plane and present a preliminary map. Looking to the future of COMAP, we examine the prospects for future phases of the experiment to detect and characterize the CO signal from the EoR.« less