Vol 9, No 6

Foreground removal of 21 cm fluctuation with multifrequency fitting

Li-Ping He


Abstract The 21 centimeter (21 cm) line emission from neutral hydrogen in the intergalactic medium (IGM) at high redshifts is strongly contaminated by foreground sources such as the diffuse Galactic synchrotron emission and free-free emission from the Galaxy, as well as emission from extragalactic radio sources, thus making its observation very complicated. However, the 21 cm signal can be recovered through its structure in frequency space, as the power spectrum of the foreground contamination is expected to be smooth over a wide band in frequency space while the 21 cm fluctuations vary significantly. We use a simple polynomial fitting to reconstruct the 21 cm signal around four frequencies 50, 100, 150 and 200MHz with an especially small channel width of 20 kHz. Our calculations show that this multifrequency fitting approach can effectively recover the 21 cm signal in the frequency range 100 ∼ 200MHz. However, this method doesn’t work well around 50MHz because of the low intensity of the 21 cm signal at this frequency. We also show that the fluctuation of detector noise can be suppressed to a very low level by taking long integration times, which means that we can reach a sensitivity of ≈ 10mK at 150MHz with 40 antennas in 120 hours of observations.


Keywords cosmology: theory, observations, diffuse radiation—methods: data analysis

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