The murchison widefield array 21 cm power spectrum analysis methodology

Daniel Jacobs, B. J. Hazelton, C. M. Trott, Joshua S. Dillon, B. Pindor, I. S. Sullivan, J. C. Pober, N. Barry, A. P. Beardsley, G. Bernardi, Judd Bowman, F. Briggs, R. J. Cappallo, P. Carroll, B. E. Corey, A. De Oliveira-Costa, D. Emrich, A. Ewall-Wice, L. Feng, B. M. GaenslerR. Goeke, L. J. Greenhill, J. N. Hewitt, N. Hurley-Walker, M. Johnston-Hollitt, D. L. Kaplan, J. C. Kasper, Hs Kim, E. Kratzenberg, E. Lenc, J. Line, A. Loeb, C. J. Lonsdale, M. J. Lynch, B. McKinley, S. R. McWhirter, D. A. Mitchell, M. F. Morales, E. Morgan, A. R. Neben, N. Thyagarajan, D. Oberoi, A. R. Offringa, S. M. Ord, S. Paul, T. Prabu, P. Procopio, J. Riding, A. E E Rogers, A. Roshi, N. Udaya Shankar, Shiv K. Sethi, K. S. Srivani, R. Subrahmanyan, M. Tegmark, S. J. Tingay, M. Waterson, R. B. Wayth, R. L. Webster, A. R. Whitney, A. Williams, C. L. Williams, C. Wu, J. S B Wyithe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


We present the 21 cm power spectrum analysis approach of the Murchison Widefield Array Epoch of Reionization project. In this paper, we compare the outputs of multiple pipelines for the purpose of validating statistical limits cosmological hydrogen at redshifts between 6 and 12. Multiple independent data calibration and reduction pipelines are used to make power spectrum limits on a fiducial night of data. Comparing the outputs of imaging and power spectrum stages highlights differences in calibration, foreground subtraction, and power spectrum calculation. The power spectra found using these different methods span a space defined by the various tradeoffs between speed, accuracy, and systematic control. Lessons learned from comparing the pipelines range from the algorithmic to the prosaically mundane; all demonstrate the many pitfalls of neglecting reproducibility. We briefly discuss the way these different methods attempt to handle the question of evaluating a significant detection in the presence of foregrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2016


  • dark ages, reionization, first stars
  • methods: data analysis
  • techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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