The epoch of the reionization (EoR) power spectrum is expected to evolve strongly with redshift, and it is this variation with cosmic history that will allow us to begin to place constraints on the physics of reionization. The primary obstacle to the measurement of the EoR power spectrum is bright foreground emission. We present an analysis of observations from the Donald C. Backer Precision Array for Probing the Epoch of Reionization (PAPER) telescope, which place new limits on the H i power spectrum over the redshift range of , extending previously published single-redshift results to cover the full range accessible to the instrument. To suppress foregrounds, we use filtering techniques that take advantage of the large instrumental bandwidth to isolate and suppress foreground leakage into the interesting regions of k-space. Our 500 hr integration is the longest such yet recorded and demonstrates this method to a dynamic range of 104. Power spectra at different points across the redshift range reveal the variable efficacy of the foreground isolation. Noise-limited measurements of Δ2 at k = 0.2 hr Mpc-1 and z = 7.55 reach as low as (48 mK)2 (1σ). We demonstrate that the size of the error bars in our power spectrum measurement as generated by a bootstrap method is consistent with the fluctuations due to thermal noise. Relative to this thermal noise, most spectra exhibit anexcess of power at a few sigma. The likely sources of this excess include residual foreground leakage, particularly at the highest redshift, unflagged radio frequency interference, and calibration errors. We conclude by discussing data reduction improvements that promise to remove much of this excess.
- dark ages, reionization, first stars
- techniques: interferometric
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science