We discuss absolute calibration strategies for Phase I of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), which aims to measure the cosmological 21 cm signal from the Epoch of Reionization. HERA is a drift-scan array with a 10° wide field of view, meaning bright, well-characterized point-source transits are scarce. This, combined with HERA's redundant sampling of the uv plane and the modest angular resolution of the Phase I instrument, make traditional sky-based and self-calibration techniques difficult to implement with high dynamic range. Nonetheless, in this work, we demonstrate calibration for HERA using point-source catalogs and electromagnetic simulations of its primary beam. We show that unmodeled diffuse flux and instrumental contaminants can corrupt the gain solutions and present a gain-smoothing approach for mitigating their impact on the 21 cm power spectrum. We also demonstrate a hybrid sky and redundant calibration scheme and compare it to pure sky-based calibration, showing only a marginal improvement to the gain solutions at intermediate delay scales. Our work suggests that the HERA Phase I system can be well calibrated for a foreground avoidance power spectrum estimator by applying direction-independent gains with a small set of degrees of freedom across the frequency and time axes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Feb 20 2020|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science