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  1. We present a new upper limit on the cosmic molecular gas density at z=2.4−3.4 obtained using the first year of observations from the CO Mapping Array Project (COMAP). COMAP data cubes are stacked on the 3D positions of 243 quasars selected from the Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS) catalog, yielding a 95% upper limit for flux from CO(1-0) line emission of 0.129 Jy km/s. Depending on the balance of the emission between the quasar host and its environment, this value can be interpreted as an average CO line luminosity L′CO of eBOSS quasars of ≤1.26×1011 K km pc2 s−1, or an average molecular gas density ρH2 in regions of the universe containing a quasar of ≤1.52×108 M⊙ cMpc−3. The L′CO upper limit falls among CO line luminosities obtained from individually-targeted quasars in the COMAP redshift range, and the ρH2 value is comparable to upper limits obtained from other Line Intensity Mapping (LIM) surveys and their joint analyses. Further, we forecast the values obtainable with the COMAP/eBOSS stack after the full 5-year COMAP Pathfinder survey. We predict that a detection is probable with this method, depending on the CO properties of the quasar sample. Based on the achieved sensitivity, we believe that this technique of stacking LIM data on the positions of traditional galaxy or quasar catalogs is extremely promising, both as a technique for investigating large galaxy catalogs efficiently at high redshift and as a technique for bolstering the sensitivity of LIM experiments, even with a fraction of their total expected survey data. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    We present a new upper limit on the cosmic molecular gas density atz= 2.4–3.4 obtained using the first year of observations from the CO Mapping Array Project (COMAP). COMAP data cubes are stacked on the 3D positions of 243 quasars selected from the Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS) catalog, yielding a 95% upper limit for flux from CO(1–0) line emission of 0.129 Jy km s−1. Depending on the balance of the emission between the quasar host and its environment, this value can be interpreted as an average CO line luminosityLCOof eBOSS quasars of ≤1.26 × 1011K km pc2s−1, or an average molecular gas densityρH2in regions of the Universe containing a quasar of ≤1.52 × 108McMpc−3. TheLCOupper limit falls among CO line luminosities obtained from individually targeted quasars in the COMAP redshift range, and theρH2value is comparable to upper limits obtained from other line intensity mapping (LIM) surveys and their joint analyses. Further, we forecast the values obtainable with the COMAP/eBOSS stack after the full 5 yr COMAP Pathfinder survey. We predict that a detection is probable with this method, depending on the CO properties of the quasar sample. Based on the achieved sensitivity, we believe that this technique of stacking LIM data on the positions of traditional galaxy or quasar catalogs is extremely promising, both as a technique for investigating large galaxy catalogs efficiently at high redshift and as a technique for bolstering the sensitivity of LIM experiments, even with a fraction of their total expected survey data.

     
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  3. Abstract Line-intensity mapping observations will find fluctuations of integrated line emission are attenuated by varying degrees at small scales due to the width of the line emission profiles. This attenuation may significantly impact estimates of astrophysical or cosmological quantities derived from measurements. We consider a theoretical treatment of the effect of line broadening on both the clustering and shot-noise components of the power spectrum of a generic line-intensity power spectrum using a halo model. We then consider possible simplifications to allow easier application in analysis, particularly in the context of inferences that require numerous, repeated, fast computations of model line-intensity signals across a large parameter space. For the CO Mapping Array Project and the CO(1–0) line-intensity field at z ∼ 3 serving as our primary case study, we expect a ∼10% attenuation of the spherically averaged power spectrum on average at relevant scales of k ≈ 0.2–0.3 Mpc −1 compared to ∼25% for the interferometric Millimetre-wave Intensity Mapping Experiment targeting shot noise from CO lines at z ∼ 1–5 at scales of k ≳ 1 Mpc −1 . We also consider the nature and amplitude of errors introduced by simplified treatments of line broadening and find that while an approximation using a single effective velocity scale is sufficient for spherically averaged power spectra, a more careful treatment is necessary when considering other statistics such as higher multipoles of the anisotropic power spectrum or the voxel intensity distribution. 
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  4. Abstract We present the current state of models for the z ∼ 3 carbon monoxide (CO) line intensity signal targeted by the CO Mapping Array Project (COMAP) Pathfinder in the context of its early science results. Our fiducial model, relating dark matter halo properties to CO luminosities, informs parameter priors with empirical models of the galaxy–halo connection and previous CO (1–0) observations. The Pathfinder early science data spanning wavenumbers k = 0.051–0.62 Mpc −1 represent the first direct 3D constraint on the clustering component of the CO (1–0) power spectrum. Our 95% upper limit on the redshift-space clustering amplitude A clust ≲ 70 μ K 2 greatly improves on the indirect upper limit of 420 μ K 2 reported from the CO Power Spectrum Survey (COPSS) measurement at k ∼ 1 Mpc −1 . The COMAP limit excludes a subset of models from previous literature and constrains interpretation of the COPSS results, demonstrating the complementary nature of COMAP and interferometric CO surveys. Using line bias expectations from our priors, we also constrain the squared mean line intensity–bias product, Tb 2 ≲ 50 μ K 2 , and the cosmic molecular gas density, ρ H2 < 2.5 × 10 8 M ⊙ Mpc −3 (95% upper limits). Based on early instrument performance and our current CO signal estimates, we forecast that the 5 yr Pathfinder campaign will detect the CO power spectrum with overall signal-to-noise ratio of 9–17. Between then and now, we also expect to detect the CO–galaxy cross-spectrum using overlapping galaxy survey data, enabling enhanced inferences of cosmic star formation and galaxy evolution history. 
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  5. 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 forecast 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. 
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  6. Abstract

    We introduce COMAP-EoR, the next generation of the Carbon Monoxide Mapping Array Project aimed at extending CO intensity mapping to the Epoch of Reionization. COMAP-EoRsupplements the existing 30 GHz COMAP Pathfinder with two additional 30 GHz instruments and a new 16 GHz receiver. This combination of frequencies will be able to simultaneously map CO(1–0) and CO(2–1) at reionization redshifts (z∼ 5–8) in addition to providing a significant boost to thez∼ 3 sensitivity of the Pathfinder. We examine a set of existing models of the EoR CO signal, and find power spectra spanning several orders of magnitude, highlighting our extreme ignorance about this period of cosmic history and the value of the COMAP-EoRmeasurement. We carry out the most detailed forecast to date of an intensity mapping cross correlation, and find that five out of the six models we consider yield signal to noise ratios (S/Ns) ≳ 20 for COMAP-EoR, with the brightest reaching a S/N above 400. We show that, for these models, COMAP-EoRcan make a detailed measurement of the cosmic molecular gas history fromz∼ 2–8, as well as probe the population of faint, star-forming galaxies predicted by these models to be undetectable by traditional surveys. We show that, for the single model that does not predict numerous faint emitters, a COMAP-EoR-type measurement is required to rule out their existence. We briefly explore prospects for a third-generation Expanded Reionization Array (COMAP-ERA) capable of detecting the faintest models and characterizing the brightest signals in extreme detail.

     
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  7. Abstract

    We present early results from the CO Mapping Array Project (COMAP) Galactic Plane Survey conducted between 2019 June and 2021 April, spanning 20° << 40° in Galactic longitude and ∣b∣ < 1.°5 in Galactic latitude with an angular resolution of 4.′5. We present initial results from the first part of the survey, including the diffuse emission and spectral energy distributions of Hiiregions and supernova remnants (SNRs). Using low- and high-frequency surveys to constrain free–free and thermal dust emission contributions, we find evidence of excess flux density at 30 GHz in six regions, which we interpret as anomalous microwave emission. Furthermore we model ultracompact Hiicontributions using data from the 5 GHz CORNISH catalog and reject these as the cause of the 30 GHz excess. Six known SNRs are detected at 30 GHz, and we measure spectral indices consistent with the literature or show evidence of steepening. The flux density of the SNR W44 at 30 GHz is consistent with a power-law extrapolation from lower frequencies with no indication of spectral steepening in contrast with recent results from the Sardinia Radio Telescope. We also extract five hydrogen radio recombination lines (RRLs) to map the warm ionized gas, which can be used to estimate electron temperatures or to constrain continuum free–free emission. The full COMAP Galactic Plane Survey, to be released in 2023/2024, will span∼ 20°–220° and will be the first large-scale radio continuum and RRL survey at 30 GHz with 4.′5 resolution.

     
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  8. Abstract

    We describe the first-season CO Mapping Array Project (COMAP) analysis pipeline that converts raw detector readouts to calibrated sky maps. This pipeline implements four main steps: gain calibration, filtering, data selection, and mapmaking. Absolute gain calibration relies on a combination of instrumental and astrophysical sources, while relative gain calibration exploits real-time total-power variations. High-efficiency filtering is achieved through spectroscopic common-mode rejection within and across receivers, resulting in nearly uncorrelated white noise within single-frequency channels. Consequently, near-optimal but biased maps are produced by binning the filtered time stream into pixelized maps; the corresponding signal bias transfer function is estimated through simulations. Data selection is performed automatically through a series of goodness-of-fit statistics, includingχ2and multiscale correlation tests. Applying this pipeline to the first-season COMAP data, we produce a data set with very low levels of correlated noise. We find that one of our two scanning strategies (the Lissajous type) is sensitive to residual instrumental systematics. As a result, we no longer use this type of scan and exclude data taken this way from our Season 1 power spectrum estimates. We perform a careful analysis of our data processing and observing efficiencies and take account of planned improvements to estimate our future performance. Power spectrum results derived from the first-season COMAP maps are presented and discussed in companion papers.

     
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  9. Abstract

    We present the power spectrum methodology used for the first-season COMAP analysis, and assess the quality of the current data set. The main results are derived through the Feed–Feed Pseudo-Cross-Spectrum (FPXS) method, which is a robust estimator with respect to both noise modeling errors and experimental systematics. We use effective transfer functions to take into account the effects of instrumental beam smoothing and various filter operations applied during the low-level data processing. The power spectra estimated in this way have allowed us to identify a systematic error associated with one of our two scanning strategies, believed to be due to residual ground or atmospheric contamination. We omit these data from our analysis and no longer use this scanning technique for observations. We present the power spectra from our first season of observing, and demonstrate that the uncertainties are integrating as expected for uncorrelated noise, with any residual systematics suppressed to a level below the noise. Using the FPXS method, and combining data on scalesk= 0.051–0.62 Mpc−1, we estimatePCO(k) = −2. 7 ± 1.7 × 104μK2Mpc3, the first direct 3D constraint on the clustering component of the CO(1–0) power spectrum in the literature.

     
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  10. 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.

     
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