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Title: Optimization and commissioning of the EPIC commensal radio transient imager for the long wavelength array

Next-generation aperture arrays are expected to consist of hundreds to thousands of antenna elements with substantial digital signal processing to handle large operating bandwidths of a few tens to hundreds of MHz. Conventionally, FX correlators are used as the primary signal processing unit of the interferometer. These correlators have computational costs that scale as $\mathcal {O}(N^2)$ for large arrays. An alternative imaging approach is implemented in the E-field Parallel Imaging Correlator (EPIC) that was recently deployed on the Long Wavelength Array station at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (LWA-SV) in New Mexico. EPIC uses a novel architecture that produces electric field or intensity images of the sky at the angular resolution of the array with full or partial polarization and the full spectral resolution of the channelizer. By eliminating the intermediate cross-correlation data products, the computational costs can be significantly lowered in comparison to a conventional FX or XF correlator from $\mathcal {O}(N^2)$ to $\mathcal {O}(N \log N)$ for dense (but otherwise arbitrary) array layouts. EPIC can also lower the output data rates by directly yielding polarimetric image products for science analysis. We have optimized EPIC and have now commissioned it at LWA-SV as a commensal all-sky imaging back-end that can potentially detect and localize sources of impulsive radio emission on millisecond timescales. In this article, we review the architecture of EPIC, describe code optimizations that improve performance, and present initial validations from commissioning observations. Comparisons between EPIC measurements and simultaneous beam-formed observations of bright sources show spectral-temporal structures in good agreement.

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Award ID(s):
2103707 2108348
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 1928-1937
["p. 1928-1937"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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