Vol 22, No 2

Radio Frequency Interference Mitigation and Statistics in the Spectral Observations of FAST

Chuan-Peng Zhang, Jin-Long Xu, Jie Wang, Yingjie Jing, Ziming Liu, Ming Zhu, Peng Jiang


Abstract In radio astronomy, radio frequency interference (RFI) becomes more and more serious for radio observational facilities. The RFI always influences the search and study of the interesting astronomical objects. Mitigating the RFI becomes an essential procedure in any survey data processing. The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) is an extremely sensitive radio telescope. It is necessary to find out an effective and precise RFI mitigation method for FAST data processing. In this work, we introduce a method to mitigate the RFI in FAST spectral observation and make a statistic for the RFI using ~300 h FAST data. The details are as follows. First, according to the characteristics of FAST spectra, we propose to use the Asymmetrically Reweighted Penalized Least Squares algorithm for baseline fitting. Our test results show that it has a good performance. Second, we flag the RFI with four strategies, which are to flag extremely strong RFI, flag long-lasting RFI, flag polarized RFI, and flag beam-combined RFI, respectively. The test results show that all the RFI above a preset threshold could be flagged. Third, we make a statistic for the probabilities of polarized XX and YY RFI in FAST observations. The statistical results could tell us which frequencies are relatively quiescent. With such statistical data, we are able to avoid using such frequencies in our spectral observations. Finally, based on the ~300 h FAST data, we obtained an RFI table, which is the most complete database currently for FAST.


Keywords telescopes – methods: statistical – site testing

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