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Keywords:

  • intergalactic medium;
  • cosmology: observations;
  • dark ages, reionization, first stars;
  • diffuse radiation;
  • radio lines: general

ABSTRACT

We present a new upper limit to the 21-cm power spectrum during the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) which constrains reionization models with an unheated IGM. The GMRT-EoR experiment is an ongoing effort to make a statistical detection of the power spectrum of 21-cm neutral hydrogen emission at redshift z∼ 9. Data from this redshift constrain models of the EoR, the end of the Dark Ages arising from the formation of the first bright UV sources, probably stars or mini-quasars. We present results from approximately 50 h of observations with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India from 2007 December. We describe radio-frequency interference (RFI) localization schemes which allow bright sources on the ground to be identified and physically removed in addition to automated flagging. Singular-value decomposition is used to remove the remaining broad-band RFI by identifying ground sources with large eigenvalues. Foregrounds are modelled using a piecewise linear filter and the power spectrum is measured using cross-correlations of foreground-subtracted images.