Radio frequency interference identification and mitigation using simultaneous dual-station observations

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Abstract

[1] Radio frequency interference (RFI) mitigation is a critically important issue in radio astronomy using existing instruments as well as in the development of next generation radio telescopes, such as the Square Kilometer Array (SKA). Most designs for the SKA involve multiple stations with spacings of up to a few thousands of kilometers and thus can exploit the drastically different RFI environments at different stations. As demonstrator observations and analysis for SKA-like instruments, and to develop RFI mitigation schemes that will be useful in the near term, we recently conducted simultaneous observations with Arecibo Observatory and the Green Bank Telescope. The observations were aimed at diagnosing RFI and using the mostly uncorrelated RFI between the two sites to excise RFI from several generic kinds of measurements such as giant pulses from Crab-like pulsars and weak H I emission from galaxies in bands heavily contaminated by RFI. This paper presents observations, analysis, and RFI identification and excision procedures that are effective for both time series and spectroscopy applications using multistation data.

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