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  1. 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 residual 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. 
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  2. Abstract We describe the validation of the HERA Phase I software pipeline by a series of modular tests, building up to an end-to-end simulation. The philosophy of this approach is to validate the software and algorithms used in the Phase I upper-limit analysis on wholly synthetic data satisfying the assumptions of that analysis, not addressing whether the actual data meet these assumptions. We discuss the organization of this validation approach, the specific modular tests performed, and the construction of the end-to-end simulations. We explicitly discuss the limitations in scope of the current simulation effort. With mock visibility data generated from a known analytic power spectrum and a wide range of realistic instrumental effects and foregrounds, we demonstrate that the current pipeline produces power spectrum estimates that are consistent with known analytic inputs to within thermal noise levels (at the 2 σ level) for k > 0.2 h Mpc −1 for both bands and fields considered. Our input spectrum is intentionally amplified to enable a strong “detection” at k ∼ 0.2 h Mpc −1 —at the level of ∼25 σ —with foregrounds dominating on larger scales and thermal noise dominating at smaller scales. Our pipeline is able to detect this amplified input signal after suppressing foregrounds with a dynamic range (foreground to noise ratio) of ≳10 7 . Our validation test suite uncovered several sources of scale-independent signal loss throughout the pipeline, whose amplitude is well-characterized and accounted for in the final estimates. We conclude with a discussion of the steps required for the next round of data analysis. 
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    ABSTRACT Precision calibration poses challenges to experiments probing the redshifted 21-cm signal of neutral hydrogen from the Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionization (z ∼ 30–6). In both interferometric and global signal experiments, systematic calibration is the leading source of error. Though many aspects of calibration have been studied, the overlap between the two types of instruments has received less attention. We investigate the sky based calibration of total power measurements with a HERA dish and an EDGES-style antenna to understand the role of autocorrelations in the calibration of an interferometer and the role of sky in calibrating a total power instrument. Using simulations we study various scenarios such as time variable gain, incomplete sky calibration model, and primary beam model. We find that temporal gain drifts, sky model incompleteness, and beam inaccuracies cause biases in the receiver gain amplitude and the receiver temperature estimates. In some cases, these biases mix spectral structure between beam and sky resulting in spectrally variable gain errors. Applying the calibration method to the HERA and EDGES data, we find good agreement with calibration via the more standard methods. Although instrumental gains are consistent with beam and sky errors similar in scale to those simulated, the receiver temperatures show significant deviations from expected values. While we show that it is possible to partially mitigate biases due to model inaccuracies by incorporating a time-dependent gain model in calibration, the resulting errors on calibration products are larger and more correlated. Completely addressing these biases will require more accurate sky and primary beam models. 
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    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. 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. 
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    ABSTRACT In 21-cm cosmology, precision calibration is key to the separation of the neutral hydrogen signal from very bright but spectrally smooth astrophysical foregrounds. The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), an interferometer specialized for 21-cm cosmology and now under construction in South Africa, was designed to be largely calibrated using the self-consistency of repeated measurements of the same interferometric modes. This technique, known as redundant-baseline calibration resolves most of the internal degrees of freedom in the calibration problem. It assumes, however, on antenna elements with identical primary beams placed precisely on a redundant grid. In this work, we review the detailed implementation of the algorithms enabling redundant-baseline calibration and report results with HERA data. We quantify the effects of real-world non-redundancy and how they compare to the idealized scenario in which redundant measurements differ only in their noise realizations. Finally, we study how non-redundancy can produce spurious temporal structure in our calibration solutions – both in data and in simulations – and present strategies for mitigating that structure. 
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