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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.
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Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
265 to 275
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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