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Title:
The Low-Frequency Environment of the Murchison Widefield Array: Radio-Frequency Interference Analysis and Mitigation
Authors:
Offringa, A. R.; Wayth, R. B.; Hurley-Walker, N.; Kaplan, D. L.; Barry, N.; Beardsley, A. P.; Bell, M. E.; Bernardi, G.; Bowman, J. D.; Briggs, F.; Callingham, J. R.; Cappallo, R. J.; Carroll, P.; Deshpande, A. A.; Dillon, J. S.; Dwarakanath, K. S.; Ewall-Wice, A.; Feng, L.; For, B.-Q.; Gaensler, B. M.; Greenhill, L. J.; Hancock, P.; Hazelton, B. J.; Hewitt, J. N.; Hindson, L.; Jacobs, D. C.; Johnston-Hollitt, M.; Kapinska, A. D.; Kim, H.-S.; Kittiwisit, P.; Lenc, E.; Line, J.; Loeb, A.; Lonsdale, C. J.; McKinley, B.; McWhirter, S. R.; Mitchell, D. A.; Morales, M. F.; Morgan, E.; Morgan, J.; Neben, A. R.; Oberoi, D.; Ord, S. M.; Paul, S.; Pindor, B.; Pober, J. C.; Prabu, T.; Procopio, P.; Riding, J.; Udaya Shankar, N.; Sethi, S.; Srivani, K. S.; Staveley-Smith, L.; Subrahmanyan, R.; Sullivan, I. S.; Tegmark, M.; Thyagarajan, N.; Tingay, S. J.; Trott, C. M.; Webster, R. L.; Williams, A.; Williams, C. L.; Wu, C.; Wyithe, J. S.; Zheng, Q.
Affiliation:
AA(Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2611, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands), AB(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), AC(International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), AD(Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA), AE(Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA), AF(Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA), AG(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Marsfield, NSW 2122, Australia), AH(SKA SA, 3rd Floor, The Park, Park Road, Pinelands, 7405, South Africa; Department of Physics and Electronics, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA), AI(School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA), AJ(Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2611, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia), AK(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia), AL(MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA 01886, USA), AM(Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA), AN(Raman Research Institute, Bangalore 560080, India), AO(Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA), AP(Raman Research Institute, Bangalore 560080, India), AQ(Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA), AR(Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA), AS(International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Perth, Australia), AT(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia), AU(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA), AV(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), AW(Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA), AX(Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA), AY(School of Chemical & Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6140, New Zealand), AZ(School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA), BA(School of Chemical & Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6140, New Zealand), BB(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Perth, Australia), BC(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia), BD(School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA), BE(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia), BF(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia), BG(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA), BH(MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA 01886, USA), BI(Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2611, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia), BJ(MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA 01886, USA), BK(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Marsfield, NSW 2122, Australia), BL(Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA), BM(Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA), BN(International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), BO(Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA), BP(National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, Pune 411007, India), BQ(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), BR(Raman Research Institute, Bangalore 560080, India), BS(School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia), BT(Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA), BU(Raman Research Institute, Bangalore 560080, India), BV(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia), BW(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia), BX(Raman Research Institute, Bangalore 560080, India), BY(Raman Research Institute, Bangalore 560080, India), BZ(Raman Research Institute, Bangalore 560080, India), CA(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Perth, Australia), CB(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; Raman Research Institute, Bangalore 560080, India), CC(Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA), CD(Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA), CE(School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA), CF(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), CG(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), CH(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia), CI(International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia), CJ(Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA), CK(International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Perth, Australia), CL(ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), Canberra, ACT, Australia; School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia), CM(School of Chemical & Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6140, New Zealand)
Publication:
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Volume 32, id.e008 13 pp. (PASA Homepage)
Publication Date:
03/2015
Origin:
CUP
Astronomy Keywords:
instrumentation: interferometers, methods: observational, radio continuum: general, techniques: interferometric
Abstract Copyright:
2015: Astronomical Society of Australia
DOI:
10.1017/pasa.2015.7
Bibliographic Code:
2015PASA...32....8O

Abstract

The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72-231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array's radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
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