Matching Items (19)

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Environmental Systematics and the Impact on 21-cm Epoch of Reionization Measurements

Description

The Epoch of Reionization (EoR) is the period in the evolution of the universe during which neutral hydrogen was ionized by the first luminous sources, and is closely linked to

The Epoch of Reionization (EoR) is the period in the evolution of the universe during which neutral hydrogen was ionized by the first luminous sources, and is closely linked to the formation of structure in the early universe. The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) is a radio interferometer currently under construction in South Africa designed to study this era. Specifically, HERA is dedicated to studying the large-scale structure during the EoR and the preceding Cosmic Dawn by measuring the redshifted 21-cm line from neutral hydrogen. However, the 21-cm signal from the EoR is extremely faint relative to galactic and extragalactic radio foregrounds, and instrumental and environmental systematics make measuring the signal all the more difficult. Radio frequency interference (RFI) from terrestrial sources is one such systematic. In this thesis, we explore various methods of removing RFI from early science-grade HERA data and characterize the effects of different removal patterns on the final 21-cm power spectrum. In particular, we focus on the impact of masking narrowband signals, such as those characteristic of FM radio and aircraft or satellite communications, in the context of the algorithms currently used by the HERA collaboration for analysis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Modeling and Testing of a CubeSat Attitude Control System

Description

Accurate pointing is essential for any space mission with an imaging payload. The Phoenix Cubesat mission is being designed to take thermal images of major US cities from Low Earth

Accurate pointing is essential for any space mission with an imaging payload. The Phoenix Cubesat mission is being designed to take thermal images of major US cities from Low Earth Orbit in order to study the Urban Heat Island effect. Accurate pointing is vital to ensure mission success, so the satellite's Attitude Determination and Control System, or ADCS, must be properly tested and calibrated on the ground to ensure that it performs to its requirements. A commercial ADCS unit, the MAI-400, has been selected for this mission. The expected environmental disturbances must be characterized and modeled in order to inform planning the operations of this system. Appropriate control gains must also be selected to ensure the optimal satellite response. These gains are derived through a system model in Simulink and its response optimization tool, and these gains are then tested in a supplier provided Dynamic Simulator.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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An Analysis of Museum Visitor Feedback via the Ask Dr. Discovery Project

Description

Museum evaluation is an important process that aims to study an exhibit's effectiveness in engaging visitors and in teaching concepts. Imperatives and methods to strengthen museum evaluation have been suggested

Museum evaluation is an important process that aims to study an exhibit's effectiveness in engaging visitors and in teaching concepts. Imperatives and methods to strengthen museum evaluation have been suggested and implemented in the past, but ultimately faced several challenges including the collection of visitor feedback in an efficient, non-intrusive way. The Ask Dr. Discovery project seeks to address the challenge of conducting efficient, affordable, and large-scale science museum evaluation via an interactive app aimed at collecting direct visitor feedback through use of the app and through questionnaires that also collect demographics. This thesis investigates how the demographics of metro Phoenix science museum visitors as a whole compare to the Hispanic/Latino population of visitors, and makes use of visitor feedback from Ask Dr. Discovery to provide useful data for science museum evaluation. An analysis of responses revealed that the majority of the participants in the study (n=785) were White (Non-Hispanic) (65.59%), were 36-45 years old (36.18%) and hold a graduate degree (27.64%). Most Hispanic/Latino participants in the study were 26-35 years old (36.36%) and completed some college (28.67%). Most participants from both participant groups have never visited the museum before (32.99% of all participants; 33.57% of all Hispanics/Latinos). Further analysis suggest that museum visits may be independent of age and visitor group size. Visitor interest in science museum exhibits may be independent of their use of free time science-related activities. Data suggests that there was no real difference in exhibit interest across two different versions of the app ("modes"). Analysis of negative visitor feedback showed different question types, questions asked, and time spent on the app. Data log questions revealed the difference in time spent on the app and complexity of questions asked between adults and children, as well as the location of participants in the museum. There was no major correlation between mode type and number of questions asked, and length of use and number of questions asked.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Searching for Stellar Outflow in the R Coronae Australis Region

Description

Using data from the Arizona Radio Observatory Submillimeter Telescope, we have studied the active, star-forming region of the R Coronae Australis molecular cloud in 12CO (2-1), 13CO (2-1), and HCO+

Using data from the Arizona Radio Observatory Submillimeter Telescope, we have studied the active, star-forming region of the R Coronae Australis molecular cloud in 12CO (2-1), 13CO (2-1), and HCO+ (3-2). We baselined and mapped the data using CLASS. It was then used to create integrated intensity, outflow, and centroid velocity maps in IDL. These clearly showed the main large outflow, and then we identified a few other possible outflows.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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WSCLEAN: an implementation of a fast, generic wide-field imager for radio astronomy

Description

Astronomical wide-field imaging of interferometric radio data is computationally expensive, especially for the large data volumes created by modern non-coplanar many-element arrays. We present a new wide-field interferometric imager that

Astronomical wide-field imaging of interferometric radio data is computationally expensive, especially for the large data volumes created by modern non-coplanar many-element arrays. We present a new wide-field interferometric imager that uses the w-stacking algorithm and can make use of the w-snapshot algorithm. The performance dependences of CASA's w-projection and our new imager are analysed and analytical functions are derived that describe the required computing cost for both imagers. On data from the Murchison Widefield Array, we find our new method to be an order of magnitude faster than w-projection, as well as being capable of full-sky imaging at full resolution and with correct polarization correction. We predict the computing costs for several other arrays and estimate that our imager is a factor of 2–12 faster, depending on the array configuration. We estimate the computing cost for imaging the low-frequency Square Kilometre Array observations to be 60 PetaFLOPS with current techniques. We find that combining w-stacking with the w-snapshot algorithm does not significantly improve computing requirements over pure w-stacking. The source code of our new imager is publicly released.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-10-11

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The First Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency radio observations of cluster scale non-thermal emission: the case of Abell 3667

Description

We present the first Murchison Widefield Array observations of the well-known cluster of galaxies Abell 3667 (A3667) between 105 and 241 MHz. A3667 is one of the best known examples of

We present the first Murchison Widefield Array observations of the well-known cluster of galaxies Abell 3667 (A3667) between 105 and 241 MHz. A3667 is one of the best known examples of a galaxy cluster hosting a double radio relic and has been reported to contain a faint radio halo and bridge. The origin of radio haloes, relics and bridges is still unclear, however galaxy cluster merger seems to be an important factor. We clearly detect the north-west (NW) and south-east radio relics in A3667 and find an integrated flux density at 149 MHz of 28.1 ± 1.7 and 2.4 ± 0.1 Jy, respectively, with an average spectral index, between 120 and 1400 MHz, of −0.9 ± 0.1 for both relics. We find evidence of a spatial variation in the spectral index across the NW relic steepening towards the centre of the cluster, which indicates an ageing electron population. These properties are consistent with higher frequency observations. We detect emission that could be associated with a radio halo and bridge. However, due to the presence of poorly sampled large-scale Galactic emission and blended point sources we are unable to verify the exact nature of these features.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-11-21

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Science with the Murchison Widefield Array

Description

Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore

Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-28

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Correlating Galactic Magnetic Fields with Regions of Dense Star Formation using LOFAR and CALIFA

Description

I test the hypothesis that galactic magnetic fields originate from regions of dense
star formation (Dahlem et al. 2006) by comparing maps of 120-240 MHz synchrotron emission and hydrogen alpha

I test the hypothesis that galactic magnetic fields originate from regions of dense
star formation (Dahlem et al. 2006) by comparing maps of 120-240 MHz synchrotron emission and hydrogen alpha (Hα) emission of the tidally-interacting, edge-on, barred spiral galaxy UGC 9665. Synchrotron emission traces magnetic field strength to a rough first order, while Hα emission traces recent massive star formation. UGC 9665 was selected because it was included in the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) TwoMetre Sky Survey (LoTSS; Shimwell et al. (2017)) as well as the Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area Survey (CALIFA; Sanchez et al. (2012)). I generated vertical intensity profiles at several distances along the disk from the galactic center for synchrotron emission and Hα in order to measure how the intensity of each falls off with distance from the midplane. In addition to correlating the vertical profiles to see if there is a relationship between star formation and magnetic field strength, I fit the LOFAR vertical profiles to characteristic Gaussian and exponential functions given by Dumke et al. (1995). Fitting these equations have been shown to be good indicators of the main mode of cosmic ray transport, whether it is advection (exponential fit) or diffusion (Gaussian fit) (Heesen et al. 2016). Cosmic rays originate from supernova,
and core collapse supernovae occur in star forming regions, which also produce
advective winds, so I test the correlation between star-forming regions and advective regions as predicted by the Heesen et al. (2016) method. Similar studies should be conducted on different galaxies in the future in order to further test these hypotheses and how well LOFAR and CALIFA complement each other, which will be made possible by the full release of the LOFAR Two-Metre Sky Survey (LoTSS) (Shimwell et al. 2017).

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Characterizing Low Frequency Delay Mode Contamination of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array

Description

The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array, HERA, is a radio telescope currently being built in South Africa that plans to observe the early universe, specifically the earliest period of star

The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array, HERA, is a radio telescope currently being built in South Africa that plans to observe the early universe, specifically the earliest period of star and galaxy formation. It plans to use a tool called a delay spectrum to separate signal emitted from this time from the much brighter radio foregrounds. It is the purpose of this paper to outline the method used to characterize the contamination of these delay spectra by bright emissions of radio here on Earth called radio frequency interference, RFI. The portion of the bandwidth containing the signal from the period of initial star formation was specifically examined. In order to receive usable data, the HERA commissioning team was assisted in the evaluation of the most recent data releases. On the first batch of usable data, flagging algorithms were run in order to mask all of the RFI present. A method of filling these masked values was determined, which allowed for the delay spectrum to be observed. Various methods of injecting RFI into the data were tested which portrayed the large dependence of the delay spectrum on its presence. Finally, the noise power was estimated in order to predict whether or not the limitations observed in the dynamic range were comparable to the noise floor. By examining the evolution of the delay spectrum's power as a range of noise power was introduced, there is a good amount of evidence that this limitation is in fact the noise floor. From this, we see that excision algorithms and interpolation used are capable of removing the effects of most all of the RFI contamination.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Single photon interferometry and quantum astrophysics

Description

This thesis contains an overview, as well as the history of optical interferometers. A new approach to interferometric measurements of stars is proposed and explored. Modern updates to the classic

This thesis contains an overview, as well as the history of optical interferometers. A new approach to interferometric measurements of stars is proposed and explored. Modern updates to the classic techniques are described along with some theoretical derivations showing why the method of single photon counting shows significant promise relative to the currently used amplitude interferometry.

Description of a modular intensity interferometer system using commercially available single-photon detectors is given. Calculations on the sensitivity and \emph{uv}-plane coverage using these modules mounted on existing telescopes on Kitt Peak, Arizona is presented.

Determining fundamental stellar properties is essential for testing models of stellar evolution as well as for deriving physical properties of transiting exoplanets. The proposed method shows great promise in measuring the angular size of stars. Simulations indicate that it is possible to measure stellar diameters of bright stars with AB magnitude <6 with a precision of >5% in a single night of observation.

Additionally, a description is given of a custom time-to-digital converter designed to time tag individual photons from multiple single-photon detectors with high count rate, continuous data logging, and low systematics. The instrument utilizes a tapped-delay line approach on an FPGA chip which allows for sub-clock resolution of <100 ps. The TDC is implemented on a Re-configurable Open Architecture Computing Hardware Revision 2 (ROACH2) board which allows for continuous data streaming and time tagging of up to 20 million events per second. The functioning prototype is currently set-up to work with up to ten independent channels. Laboratory characterization of the system, including RF, pick up and mitigation, as well as measurement of in-lab photon correlations from an incoherent light source (artificial star), are presented. Additional improvements to the TDC will also be discussed, such as improving the data transfer rate by a factor of 10 via an SDP+ Mezzanine card and PCIe 2SFP+ 10 Gb card, as well as scaling to 64 independent channels.

Furthermore, a modified nulling interferometer with image inversion is proposed, for direct imaging of exoplanets below the canonical Rayleigh resolution limit. Image inversion interferometry relies on splitting incoming radiation from a source, either spatially rotating or reflecting the electric field from one arm of the interferometer before recombining the signals and detecting the resulting images in the two output ports with an array of high-speed single-photon detectors. Sources of incoming radiation that have cylindrical symmetry and are centered on the rotation axis will cancel in one of the output ports and add in the other output port. The ability to suppress light from a host star, as well as the ability to resolve past the Rayleigh limit, enables sensitive detection of exoplanets from a stable environment without the need for a coronagraph. The expected number of photons and the corresponding variance in the measurement for different initial contrast ratios are shown, with some first-order theoretical instrumental errors.

Lastly, preliminary results from a sizeable photometric survey are presented. This survey is used to derive bolometric flux alongside from angular size measurements and the effective stellar temperatures.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018