Sky Noise Limited Snapshot Imaging in the Presence of RFI with LOFAR’s Initial Test Station
The initial test station (ITS) is the first full scale prototype of a low frequency array (LOFAR) station. It operates in the 10–40 MHz range and consists of 60 sky noise limited dipoles arranged in a five-armed spiral structure offering an instantaneous synthesized aperture of almost 200 m diameter. We will present all sky snapshot images demonstrating sky-noise limited imaging capability in the presence of a strong RFI source that exceeds the all sky power by 27 dB. This result is obtained with a two stage self-calibration procedure. First, the RFI source near the horizon is used as calibrator and then subtracted, after which Cas A shows up at a level that is a factor 2000 lower and then dominates the picture with its side lobes. A second self calibration on Cas A then reveals the same extended galactic emission as found in a RFI free adjacent spectral channel. This demonstrates that a single 10 kHz channel of a 6.7 s snapshot of a single LOFAR station already provides a dynamic range of over 104.
KeywordsCLEAN LOFAR peeling phased array RFI RFI mitigation snapshot imaging
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