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  • Hewitt, Jacqueline  (35)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, 20 February 2011, Vol.728(2)
    Description: We present the first spectroscopic images of solar radio transients from the prototype for the Murchison Widefield Array, observed on 2010 March 27. Our observations span the instantaneous frequency band 170.9- 201.6 MHz. Though our observing period is characterized as a period of 'low' to 'medium' activity, one broadband emission feature and numerous short-lived, narrowband, non-thermal emission features are evident. Our data represent a significant advance in low radio frequency solar imaging, enabling us to follow the spatial, spectral, and temporal evolution of events simultaneously and in unprecedented detail. The rich variety of features seen here reaffirms the coronal diagnostic capability of low radio frequency emission and provides an early glimpse of the nature of radio observations that will become available as the next generation of low-frequency radio interferometers come online over the next few years.
    Keywords: Astrophysics, Cosmology And Astronomy ; Emission ; Interferometers ; Radiowave Radiation ; Solar Corona ; Sun ; Atmospheres ; Electromagnetic Radiation ; Main Sequence Stars ; Measuring Instruments ; Radiations ; Solar Atmosphere ; Stars ; Stellar Atmospheres ; Stellar Coronae ; Astronomy & Astrophysics
    ISSN: 2041-8205
    E-ISSN: 2041-8213
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Physical Review D, 1/2014, Vol.89(2)
    Description: We present techniques for bridging the gap between idealized inverse covariance weighted quadratic estimation of 21 cm power spectra and the real-world challenges presented universally by interferometric observation. By carefully evaluating various estimators and adapting our techniques for large but incomplete data sets, we develop a robust power spectrum estimation framework that preserves the so-called "EoR window" and keeps track of estimator errors and covariances. We apply our method to observations from the 32-tile prototype of the Murchinson Widefield Array to demonstrate the importance of a judicious analysis technique. Lastly, we apply our method to investigate the dependence of the clean EoR window on frequency--especially the frequency dependence of the so-called "wedge" feature--and establish upper limits on the power spectrum from z = 6.2 to z = 11.7. Our lowest limit is Delta(k) 〈 0.3 Kelvin at 95% confidence at a comoving scale k = 0.046 Mpc^-1 and z = 9.5. Comment: 27 pages, 10 figures. Updated to match the accepted Phys. Rev. D version
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 1550-7998
    E-ISSN: 1550-2368
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal, 2014, Vol.782(2), p.66 (25pp)
    Description: A number of experiments are currently working toward a measurement of the 21 cm signal from the epoch of reionization (EoR). Whether or not these experiments deliver a detection of cosmological emission, their limited sensitivity will prevent them from providing detailed information about the astrophysics of reionization. In this work, we consider what types of measurements will be enabled by the next generation of larger 21 cm EoR telescopes. To calculate the type of constraints that will be possible with such arrays, we use simple models for the instrument, foreground emission, and the reionization history. We focus primarily on an instrument modeled after the 0.1 km 2 collecting area Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array concept design and parameterize the uncertainties with regard to foreground emission by considering different limits to the recently described wedge footprint in k space. Uncertainties in the reionization history are accounted for using a series of simulations that vary the ionizing efficiency and minimum virial temperature of the galaxies responsible for reionization, as well as the mean free path of ionizing photons through the intergalactic medium. Given various combinations of models, we consider the significance of the possible power spectrum detections, the ability to trace the power spectrum evolution versus redshift, the detectability of salient power spectrum features, and the achievable level of quantitative constraints on astrophysical parameters. Ultimately, we find that 0.1 km 2 of collecting area is enough to ensure a very high significance ( 30) detection of the reionization power spectrum in even the most pessimistic scenarios. This sensitivity should allow for meaningful constraints on the reionization history and astrophysical parameters, especially if foreground subtraction techniques can be improved and successfully implemented.
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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  • 4
    Description: Above redshift 6, the dominant source of neutral hydrogen in the Universe shifts from localized clumps in and around galaxies and filaments to a pervasive, diffuse component of the intergalactic medium (IGM). This transition tracks the global neutral fraction of hydrogen in the IGM and can be studied, in principle, through the redshifted 21 cm hyperfine transition line. During the last half of the reionization epoch, the mean (global) brightness temperature of the redshifted 21 cm emission is proportional to the neutral fraction, but at earlier times (10 〈 z 〈 25), the mean brightness temperature should probe the spin temperature of neutral hydrogen in the IGM. Measuring the (of order 10 mK) mean brightness temperature of the redshifted 21 cm line as a function of frequency (and hence redshift) would chart the early evolution of galaxies through the heating and ionizing of the IGM by their stellar populations. Experiments are already underway to accomplish this task or, at least, provide basic constraints on the evolution of the mean brightness temperature. We provide a brief overview of one of these projects, the Experiment to the Detect the Global EOR Signature (EDGES), and discuss prospects for future results. Comment: From AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 1035, 2008, "The Evolution of Galaxies through the Neutral Hydrogen Window". 3 pages
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Galaxy Astrophysics
    Source: Cornell University
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal, 2009, Vol.695(1), pp.183-199
    Description: Subtraction of astrophysical foreground contamination from dirty sky maps produced by simulated measurements of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) has been performed by fitting a third-order polynomial along the spectral dimension of each pixel in the data cubes. The simulations are the first to include the unavoidable instrumental effects of the frequency-dependent primary antenna beams and synthesized array beams. They recover the one-dimensional spherically binned input redshifted 21 cm power spectrum within 1% over the scales probed most sensitively by the MWA (0.01 k 1 Mpc 1 ) and demonstrate that realistic instrumental effects will not mask the epoch of reionization signal. We find that the weighting function used to produce the dirty sky maps from the gridded visibility measurements is important to the success of the technique. Uniform weighting of the visibility measurements produces the best results, whereas natural weighting significantly worsens the foreground subtraction by coupling structure in the density of the visibility measurements to spectral structure in the dirty sky map data cube. The extremely dense uv -coverage of the MWA was found to be advantageous for this technique and produced very good results on scales corresponding to | u | 500 in the uv -plane without any selective editing of the uv -coverage.
    Keywords: Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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  • 6
    In: Astrophys.J.638:20-26,2006
    Description: Statistical observations of the epoch of reionization (EOR) power spectrum provide a rich data set for understanding the transition from the cosmic "dark ages" to the ionized universe we see today. EOR observations have become an active area of experimental cosmology, and three first generation observatories--MWA, PAST, and LOFAR--are currently under development. In this paper we provide the first quantitative calculation of the three dimensional power spectrum sensitivity, incorporating the design parameters of a planned array. This calculation is then used to explore the constraints these first generation observations can place on the EOR power spectrum. The results demonstrate the potential of upcoming power spectrum observations to constrain theories of structure formation and reionization. Comment: 7 pages with 5 figures. Submitted to ApJ
    Keywords: Astrophysics
    Source: Cornell University
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal, 2006, Vol.648(2), pp.767-773
    Description: Statistical observations of the epoch of reionization using the 21 cm line of neutral hydrogen have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of structure formation and the first luminous objects. However, these observations are complicated by a host of strong foreground sources. Several foreground-removal techniques have been proposed in the literature, and it has been assumed that these would be used in combination to reveal the epoch of reionization (EOR) signal. By studying the characteristic subtraction errors of the proposed foreground-removal techniques, we identify an additional subtraction stage that can further reduce the EOR foreground contamination, and study the interactions between the foreground-removal algorithms. This enables us to outline a comprehensive foreground-removal strategy that incorporates all previously proposed subtraction techniques. Using this foreground-removal framework and the characteristic subtraction errors, we discuss the complementarity of different foreground-removal techniques and the implications for array design and the analysis of EOR data.
    Keywords: Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Experimental Astronomy, 2015, Vol.39(1), pp.73-93
    Description: An FPGA-based digital-receiver has been developed for a low-frequency imaging radio interferometer, the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). The MWA, located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, consists of 128 dual-polarized aperture-array elements (tiles) operating between 80 and 300 MHz, with a total processed bandwidth of 30.72 MHz for each polarization. Radio-frequency signals from the tiles are amplified and band limited using analog signal conditioning units; sampled and channelized by digital-receivers. The signals from eight tiles are processed by a single digital-receiver, thus requiring 16 digital-receivers for the MWA. The main function of the digital-receivers is to digitize the broad-band signals from each tile, channelize them to form the sky-band, and transport it through optical fibers to a centrally located correlator for further processing. The digital-receiver firmware also implements functions to measure the signal power, perform power equalization across the band, detect interference-like events, and invoke diagnostic modes. The digital-receiver is controlled by high-level programs running on a single-board-computer. This paper presents the digital-receiver design, implementation, current status, and plans for future enhancements.
    Keywords: ADC ; Channelizer ; Digital-receiver ; FPGA ; MWA ; MRO ; PFB ; Radio astronomy instrumentation ; Radio telescope ; SKA
    ISSN: 0922-6435
    E-ISSN: 1572-9508
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  • 9
    In: 2012 ApJ 759 17
    Description: We introduce the Fast Holographic Deconvolution method for analyzing interferometric radio data. Our new method is an extension of A-projection/software-holography/forward modeling analysis techniques and shares their precision deconvolution and widefield polarimetry, while being significantly faster than current implementations that use full direction-dependent antenna gains. Using data from the MWA 32 antenna prototype, we demonstrate the effectiveness and precision of our new algorithm. Fast Holographic Deconvolution may be particularly important for upcoming 21 cm cosmology observations of the Epoch of Reionization and Dark Energy where foreground subtraction is intimately related to the precision of the data reduction. Comment: ApJ accepted
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Cosmology And Extragalactic Astrophysics
    ISSN: 0004637X
    E-ISSN: 15384357
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal, 2014, Vol.793(1), p.28 (13pp)
    Description: Detection of the epoch of reionization (EoR) in the redshifted 21 cm line is a challenging task. Here, we formulate the detection of the EoR signal using the drift scan strategy. This method potentially has better instrumental stability compared to the case where a single patch of sky is tracked. We demonstrate that the correlation time between measured visibilities could extend up to 1-2 hr for an interferometer array such as the Murchison Widefield Array, which has a wide primary beam. We estimate the EoR power based on a cross-correlation of visibilities over time and show that the drift scan strategy is capable of detecting the EoR signal with a signal to noise that is comparable/better compared to the tracking case. We also estimate the visibility correlation for a set of bright point sources and argue that the statistical inhomogeneity of bright point sources might allow their separation from the EoR signal.
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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