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  1. 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
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Line intensity mapping (LIM) is a new technique for tracing the global properties of galaxies over cosmic time. Detection of the very faint signals from redshifted carbon monoxide (CO), a tracer of star formation, pushes the limits of what is feasible with a total-power instrument. The CO Mapping Project Pathfinder is a first-generation instrument aiming to prove the concept and develop the technology for future experiments, as well as delivering early science products. With 19 receiver channels in a hexagonal focal plane arrangement on a 10.4 m antenna and an instantaneous 26–34 GHz frequency range with 2 MHz resolution, it is ideally suited to measuring CO (J= 1–0) fromz∼ 3. In this paper we discuss strategies for designing and building the Pathfinder and the challenges that were encountered. The design of the instrument prioritized LIM requirements over those of ancillary science. After a couple of years of operation, the instrument is well understood, and the first year of data is already yielding useful science results. Experience with this Pathfinder will guide the design of the next generations of experiments.