Matching Items (9)

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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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  • 2019-05

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Creating Reliable Software Systems for the DORA CubeSat

Description

CubeSats can encounter a myriad of difficulties in space like cosmic rays, temperature<br/>issues, and loss of control. By creating better, more reliable software, these problems can be<br/>mitigated and increase the

CubeSats can encounter a myriad of difficulties in space like cosmic rays, temperature<br/>issues, and loss of control. By creating better, more reliable software, these problems can be<br/>mitigated and increase the chance of success for the mission. This research sets out to answer the<br/>question: how do we create reliable flight software for CubeSats? by providing a concentrated<br/>list of the best flight software development practices. The CubeSat used in this research is the<br/>Deployable Optical Receiver Aperture (DORA) CubeSat, which is a 3U CubeSat that seeks to<br/>demonstrate optical communication data rates of 1 Gbps over long distances. We present an<br/>analysis over many of the flight software development practices currently in use in the industry,<br/>from industry leads NASA, and identify three key flight software development areas of focus:<br/>memory, concurrency, and error handling. Within each of these areas, the best practices were<br/>defined for how to approach the area. These practices were also developed using experience<br/>from the creation of flight software for the DORA CubeSat in order to drive the design and<br/>testing of the system. We analyze DORA’s effectiveness in the three areas of focus, as well as<br/>discuss how following the best practices identified helped to create a more reliable flight<br/>software system for the DORA CubeSat.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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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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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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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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  • 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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Date Created
  • 2014-11-21

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The development of unique focal planes for high-resolution suborbital and ground-based exploration

Description

The development of new Ultra-Violet/Visible/IR range (UV/Vis/IR) astronomical instrumentation that use novel approaches for imaging and increase the accessibility of observing time for more research groups is essential for rapid

The development of new Ultra-Violet/Visible/IR range (UV/Vis/IR) astronomical instrumentation that use novel approaches for imaging and increase the accessibility of observing time for more research groups is essential for rapid innovation within the community. Unique focal planes that are rapid-prototyped, low cost, and provide high resolution are key.

In this dissertation the emergent designs of three unique focal planes are discussed. These focal planes were each designed for a different astronomical platform: suborbital balloon, suborbital rocket, and ground-based observatory. The balloon-based payload is a hexapod-actuated focal plane that uses tip-tilt motion to increase angular resolution through the removal of jitter – known as the HExapod Resolution-Enhancement SYstem (HERESY), the suborbital rocket imaging payload is a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) delta-doped charge-coupled device (CCD) packaged to survive the rigors of launch and image far-ultra-violet (FUV) spectra, and the ground-based observatory payload is a star centroid tracking modification to the balloon version of HERESY for the tip-tilt correction of atmospheric turbulence.

The design, construction, verification, and validation of each focal plane payload is discussed in detail. For HERESY’s balloon implementation, pointing error data from the Stratospheric Terahertz Observatory (STO) Antarctic balloon mission was used to form an experimental lab test setup to demonstrate the hexapod can eliminate jitter in flight-like conditions. For the suborbital rocket focal plane, a harsh set of unit-level tests to ensure the payload could survive launch and space conditions, as well as the characterization and optimization of the JPL detector, are detailed. Finally, a modification of co-mounting a fast-read detector to the HERESY focal plane, for use on ground-based observatories, intended to reduce atmospherically induced tip-tilt error through the centroid tracking of bright natural guidestars, is described.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Highly multiplexed superconducting detectors and readout electronics for balloon-borne and ground-based far-infrared imaging and polarimetry

Description

This dissertation details the development of an open source, frequency domain multiplexed (FDM) readout for large-format arrays of superconducting lumped-element kinetic inductance detectors (LEKIDs). The system architecture is designed to

This dissertation details the development of an open source, frequency domain multiplexed (FDM) readout for large-format arrays of superconducting lumped-element kinetic inductance detectors (LEKIDs). The system architecture is designed to meet the requirements of current and next generation balloon-borne and ground-based submillimeter (sub-mm), far-infrared (FIR) and millimeter-wave (mm-wave) astronomical cameras, whose science goals will soon drive the pixel counts of sub-mm detector arrays from the kilopixel to the megapixel regime. The in-flight performance of the readout system was verified during the summer, 2018 flight of ASI's OLIMPO balloon-borne telescope, from Svalbard, Norway. This was the first flight for both LEKID detectors and their associated readout electronics. In winter 2019/2020, the system will fly on NASA's long-duration Balloon Borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST-TNG), a sub-mm polarimeter which will map the polarized thermal emission from cosmic dust at 250, 350 and 500 microns (spatial resolution of 30", 41" and 59"). It is also a core system in several upcoming ground based mm-wave instruments which will soon observe at the 50 m Large Millimeter Telescope (e.g., TolTEC, SuperSpec, MUSCAT), at Sierra Negra, Mexico.

The design and verification of the FPGA firmware, software and electronics which make up the system are described in detail. Primary system requirements are derived from the science objectives of BLAST-TNG, and discussed in the context of relevant size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) considerations for balloon platforms. The system was used to characterize the instrumental performance of the BLAST-TNG receiver and detector arrays in the lead-up to the 2019/2020 flight attempt from McMurdo Station, Antarctica. The results of this characterization are interpreted by applying a parametric software model of a LEKID detector to the measured data in order to estimate important system parameters, including the optical efficiency, optical passbands and sensitivity.

The role that magnetic fields (B-fields) play in shaping structures on various scales in the interstellar medium is one of the central areas of research which is carried out by sub-mm/FIR observatories. The Davis-Chandrasekhar-Fermi Method (DCFM) is applied to a BLASTPol 2012 map (smoothed to 5') of the inner ~1.25 deg2 of the Carina Nebula Complex (CNC, NGC 3372) in order to estimate the strength of the B-field in the plane-of-the-sky (B-pos). The resulting map contains estimates of B-pos along several thousand sightlines through the CNC. This data analysis pipeline will be used to process maps of the CNC and other science targets which will be produced during the upcoming BLAST-TNG flight. A target selection survey of five nearby external galaxies which will be mapped during the flight is also presented.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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UVLabel A Tool for the Future of Interferometry Analysis

Description

UVLabel was created to enable radio astronomers to view and annotate their own data such that they could then expand their future research paths. It simplifies their data rendering process

UVLabel was created to enable radio astronomers to view and annotate their own data such that they could then expand their future research paths. It simplifies their data rendering process by providing a simple user interface to better access sections of their data. Furthermore, it provides an interface to track trends in their data through a labelling feature.

The tool was developed following the incremental development process in order to quickly create a functional and testable tool. The incremental process also allowed for feedback from radio astronomers to help guide the project's development.

UVLabel provides both a functional product, and a modifiable and scalable code base for radio astronomer developers. This enables astronomers studying various astronomical interferometric data labelling capabilities. The tool can then be used to improve their filtering methods, pursue machine learning solutions, and discover new trends. Finally, UVLabel will be open source to put customization, scalability, and adaptability in the hands of these researchers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019