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  1. 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 29, 2023