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  • 1
    In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2017, Vol. 470(4), pp.4720-4731
    Description: We present the E-field Parallel Imaging Calibration (EPICal) algorithm, which addresses the need for a fast calibration method for direct imaging radio astronomy correlators. Direct imaging involves a spatial fast Fourier transform of antenna signals, alleviating an $\mathcal {O}(N_{\mathrm{a}} ^2)$ computational bottleneck typical in radio correlators, and yielding a more gentle $\mathcal {O}(N_{\mathrm{g}} \log _2 N_{\mathrm{g}})$ scaling, where N a is the number of antennas in the array and N g is the number of gridpoints in the imaging analysis. This can save orders of magnitude in computation cost for next generation arrays consisting of hundreds or thousands of antennas. However, because antenna signals are mixed in the imaging correlator without creating visibilities, gain correction must be applied prior to imaging, rather than on visibilities post-correlation. We develop the EPICal algorithm to form gain solutions quickly and without ever forming visibilities. This method scales as the number of antennas, and produces results comparable to those from visibilities. We use simulations to demonstrate the EPICal technique and study the noise properties of our gain solutions, showing they are similar to visibility-based solutions in realistic situations. By applying EPICal to 2 s of Long Wavelength Array data, we achieve a 65 per cent dynamic range improvement compared to uncalibrated images, showing this algorithm is a promising solution for next generation instruments.
    Keywords: Instrumentation: Interferometers ; Techniques: Image Processing ; Techniques: Interferometric
    ISSN: 0035-8711
    E-ISSN: 1365-2966
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  • 2
    In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2017, Vol. 467(1), pp.715-730
    Description: Modern radio telescopes are favouring densely packed array layouts with large numbers of antennas ( N A ≳ 1000). Since the complexity of traditional correlators scales as $\mathcal {O}(N_{\rm A}^2)$ , there will be a steep cost for realizing the full imaging potential of these powerful instruments. Through our generic and efficient E-field Parallel Imaging Correlator ( epic ), we present the first software demonstration of a generalized direct imaging algorithm, namely the Modular Optimal Frequency Fourier imager. Not only does it bring down the cost for dense layouts to $\mathcal {O}(N_{\rm A}\log _2N_{\rm A})$ but can also image from irregular layouts and heterogeneous arrays of antennas. epic is highly modular, parallelizable, implemented in object-oriented python , and publicly available. We have verified the images produced to be equivalent to those from traditional techniques to within a precision set by gridding coarseness. We have also validated our implementation on data observed with the Long Wavelength Array (LWA1). We provide a detailed framework for imaging with heterogeneous arrays and show that epic robustly estimates the input sky model for such arrays. Antenna layouts with dense filling factors consisting of a large number of antennas such as LWA, the Square Kilometre Array, Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array, and Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment will gain significant computational advantage by deploying an optimized version of epic . The algorithm is a strong candidate for instruments targeting transient searches of fast radio bursts as well as planetary and exoplanetary phenomena due to the availability of high-speed calibrated time-domain images and low output bandwidth relative to visibility-based systems.
    Keywords: Instrumentation: Interferometers ; Techniques: Image Processing ; Techniques: Interferometric ; Telescopes
    ISSN: 0035-8711
    E-ISSN: 1365-2966
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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    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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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal, 2016, Vol.818(2), p.139 (18pp)
    Description: Detection of the cosmological neutral hydrogen signal from the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) and estimation of its basic physical parameters are principal scientific aims of many current low-frequency radio telescopes. Here we describe the Cosmological H i Power Spectrum Estimator (CHIPS), an algorithm developed and implemented with data from the Murchison Widefield Array, to compute the two-dimensional and spherically-averaged power spectrum of brightness temperature fluctuations. The principal motivations for CHIPS are the application of realistic instrumental and foreground models to form the optimal estimator, thereby maximizing the likelihood of unbiased signal estimation, and allowing a full covariant understanding of the outputs. CHIPS employs an inverse-covariance weighting of the data through the maximum likelihood estimator, thereby allowing use of the full parameter space for signal estimation (“foreground suppression”). We describe the motivation for the algorithm, implementation, application to real and simulated data, and early outputs. Upon application to a set of 3 hr of data, we set a 2 σ upper limit on the EoR dimensionless power at Mpc −1 of mK 2 in the redshift range z  = [6.2–6.6], consistent with previous estimates.
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: The Astrophysical Journal, 2016, Vol.825(2), p.114 (16pp)
    Description: We present the 21 cm power spectrum analysis approach of the Murchison Widefield Array Epoch of Reionization project. In this paper, we compare the outputs of multiple pipelines for the purpose of validating statistical limits cosmological hydrogen at redshifts between 6 and 12. Multiple independent data calibration and reduction pipelines are used to make power spectrum limits on a fiducial night of data. Comparing the outputs of imaging and power spectrum stages highlights differences in calibration, foreground subtraction, and power spectrum calculation. The power spectra found using these different methods span a space defined by the various tradeoffs between speed, accuracy, and systematic control. Lessons learned from comparing the pipelines range from the algorithmic to the prosaically mundane; all demonstrate the many pitfalls of neglecting reproducibility. We briefly discuss the way these different methods attempt to handle the question of evaluating a significant detection in the presence of foregrounds.
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics;
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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  • 7
    Description: The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a dipole-based aperture array synthesis telescope designed to operate in the 80-300 MHz frequency range. It is capable of a wide range of science investigations, but is initially focused on three key science projects. These are detection and characterization of 3-dimensional brightness temperature fluctuations in the 21cm line of neutral hydrogen during the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) at redshifts from 6 to 10, solar imaging and remote sensing of the inner heliosphere via propagation effects on signals from distant background sources,and high-sensitivity exploration of the variable radio sky. The array design features 8192 dual-polarization broad-band active dipoles, arranged into 512 tiles comprising 16 dipoles each. The tiles are quasi-randomly distributed over an aperture 1.5km in diameter, with a small number of outliers extending to 3km. All tile-tile baselines are correlated in custom FPGA-based hardware, yielding a Nyquist-sampled instantaneous monochromatic uv coverage and unprecedented point spread function (PSF) quality. The correlated data are calibrated in real time using novel position-dependent self-calibration algorithms. The array is located in the Murchison region of outback Western Australia. This region is characterized by extremely low population density and a superbly radio-quiet environment,allowing full exploitation of the instrumental capabilities. Comment: 9 pages, 5 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in Proceedings of the IEEE
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Solar And Stellar Astrophysics
    ISSN: 00189219
    E-ISSN: 15582256
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  • 8
    Description: Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is an ever-present limiting factor among radio telescopes even in the most remote observing locations. When looking to retain the maximum amount of sensitivity and reduce contamination for Epoch of Reionization studies, the identification and removal of RFI is especially important. In addition to improved RFI identification, we must also take into account computational efficiency of the RFI-Identification algorithm as radio interferometer arrays such as the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array grow larger in number of receivers. To address this, we present a Deep Fully Convolutional Neural Network (DFCN) that is comprehensive in its use of interferometric data, where both amplitude and phase information are used jointly for identifying RFI. We train the network using simulated HERA visibilities containing mock RFI, yielding a known "ground truth" dataset for evaluating the accuracy of various RFI algorithms. Evaluation of the DFCN model is performed on observations from the 67 dish build-out, HERA-67, and achieves a data throughput of 1.6$\times 10^{5}$ HERA time-ordered 1024 channeled visibilities per hour per GPU. We determine that relative to an amplitude only network including visibility phase adds important adjacent time-frequency context which increases discrimination between RFI and Non-RFI. The inclusion of phase when predicting achieves a Recall of 0.81, Precision of 0.58, and $F_{2}$ score of 0.75 as applied to our HERA-67 observations. Comment: 11 pages, 7 figures
    Keywords: Astrophysics - Instrumentation And Methods For Astrophysics ; Astrophysics - Cosmology And Nongalactic Astrophysics
    ISSN: 00358711
    E-ISSN: 13652966
    Source: Cornell University
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Astrophysical Journal, 10 August 2012, Vol.755(1)
    Description: The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is a new low-frequency, wide-field-of-view radio interferometer under development at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. We have used a 32 element MWA prototype interferometer (MWA-32T) to observe two 50 Degree-Sign diameter fields in the southern sky, covering a total of {approx}2700 deg{sup 2}, in order to evaluate the performance of the MWA-32T, to develop techniques for epoch of reionization experiments, and to make measurements of astronomical foregrounds. We developed a calibration and imaging pipeline for the MWA-32T, and used it to produce {approx}15' angular resolution maps of the two fields in the 110-200 MHz band. We perform a blind source extraction using these confusion-limited images, and detect 655 sources at high significance with an additional 871 lower significance source candidates. We compare these sources with existing low-frequency radio surveys in order to assess the MWA-32T system performance, wide-field analysis algorithms, and catalog quality. Our source catalog is found to agree well with existing low-frequency surveys in these regions of the sky and with statistical distributions of point sources derived from Northern Hemisphere surveys; it represents one of the deepest surveys to date of this sky field in the 110-200 MHz band.
    Keywords: Astrophysics, Cosmology And Astronomy ; Algorithms ; Astrophysics ; Calibration ; Catalogs ; Comparative Evaluations ; Data Analysis ; Images ; Interferometers ; Mhz Range ; Northern Hemisphere ; Performance ; Point Sources ; Radioastronomy ; Resolution ; Sky ; Stars ; Astronomy & Astrophysics ; Physics
    ISSN: 0004-637X
    E-ISSN: 1538-4357
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