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SARAS 2: a spectral radiometer for probing cosmic dawn and the epoch of reionization through detection of the global 21-cm signal

Singh, Saurabh and Subrahmanyan, Ravi and Shankar, N Udaya and Rao, Mayuri Sathyanarayana and Girish, B S and Raghunathan, A and Somashekar, R and Srivani, K S (2018) SARAS 2: a spectral radiometer for probing cosmic dawn and the epoch of reionization through detection of the global 21-cm signal. In: EXPERIMENTAL ASTRONOMY, 45 (2). pp. 269-314.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1007/s10686-018-9584-3


The global 21-cm signal from Cosmic Dawn (CD) and the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), at redshifts , probes the nature of first sources of radiation as well as physics of the Inter-Galactic Medium (IGM). Given that the signal is predicted to be extremely weak, of wide fractional bandwidth, and lies in a frequency range that is dominated by Galactic and Extragalactic foregrounds as well as Radio Frequency Interference, detection of the signal is a daunting task. Critical to the experiment is the manner in which the sky signal is represented through the instrument. It is of utmost importance to design a system whose spectral bandpass and additive spurious signals can be well calibrated and any calibration residual does not mimic the signal. Shaped Antenna measurement of the background RAdio Spectrum (SARAS) is an ongoing experiment that aims to detect the global 21-cm signal. Here we present the design philosophy of the SARAS 2 system and discuss its performance and limitations based on laboratory and field measurements. Laboratory tests with the antenna replaced with a variety of terminations, including a network model for the antenna impedance, show that the gain calibration and modeling of internal additive signals leave no residuals with Fourier amplitudes exceeding 2 mK, or residual Gaussians of 25 MHz width with amplitudes exceeding 2 mK. Thus, even accounting for reflection and radiation efficiency losses in the antenna, the SARAS 2 system is capable of detection of complex 21-cm profiles at the level predicted by currently favoured models for thermal baryon evolution.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belong to SPRINGER, VAN GODEWIJCKSTRAAT 30, 3311 GZ DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 18:48
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2018 12:03
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/59741

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