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22nd of May 2024
Aman Chowksi's animation showing Instrumental Challenges of an Epoch of Reionization Detection.
ATNF Colloquium
Instrumental Challenges of an Epoch of Reionization Detection
Abstract: All-sky satellite measurements of Murchison Widefield Array beams reveal significant asymmetric sidelobe distortions at an ~10% level, attributed to a range of environmental effects. In this talk I present the experiment used to carry out satellite beam measurements, and the Bayesian MCMC framework developed to incorporate these satellite measurements into a simulation test-bed to understand and propagate the effects of distorted beams on Epoch of Reionization (EoR) Science. I demonstrate how mismatches between realistically deformed beams and the perfect beam assumed during calibration lead to unavoidable spectral contamination between 100-1000 times brighter than the expected EoR signal. I also outline methods which will enable next-generation telescopes such as the Square Kilometre Array to implement parallel and affordable beam monitoring systems, facilitating the highest fidelity science outputs.

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