New UWC paper

Prof Mario Santos is part of a collaboration that published the following paper:

Effects of model incompleteness on the drift-scan calibration of radio telescopes

Precision calibration of the instruments poses challenges to experiments probing the redshifted 21-cm signal of neutral hydrogen from the Cosmic Dawn and the Epoch of Reionization (z~30-6). Both single antenna and interferometers are being used to search for the signal and in both types, systematic calibration is the leading source of error. Though many aspects of calibration have been studied, the overlap between the two types of instruments has received less attention. In this paper, we investigate sky based calibration of total power measurements. Comparing a HERA dish and an EDGES style antenna we hope to obtain a holistic understanding of the role auto-correlations might play in an interferometer and what role the sky might play in calibrating a total power instrument. Using simulations we study various scenarios such as time variable gain, incomplete sky calibration model, and primary beam model. We find that temporal gain drifts, sky model incompleteness, and beam inaccuracies cause biases in the receiver gain amplitude and the receiver temperature estimates. In some cases, these biases mix spectral structure between beam and sky resulting in spectrally variable gain errors. Applying the calibration method to data from HERA and EDGES we find good agreement with calibration via the more standard methods and deviations consistent with beam and sky errors similar in scale to those simulated. While we show that it is possible to partially mitigate biases due to model inaccuracies by incorporating a time-dependent gain model in calibration, the resulting errors on calibration products are larger and more correlated. Completely addressing these biases, as in the case of interferometer sky calibration, will require a more accurate sky model and primary beam models.

Reference: Bharat K. Ghelot & al.