Upper Limits on the 21 cm Epoch of Reionization Power Spectrum from One Night with LOFAR

A. H. Patil, S. Yatawatta, L. V.E. Koopmans, A. G.De Bruyn, M. A. Brentjens, S. Zaroubi, K. M.B. Asad, M. Hatef, V. Jelić, M. Mevius, A. R. Offringa, V. N. Pandey, H. Vedantham, F. B. Abdalla, W. N. Brouw, E. Chapman, B. Ciardi, B. K. Gehlot, A. Ghosh, G. HarkerI. T. Iliev, K. Kakiichi, S. Majumdar, G. Mellema, M. B. Silva, J. Schaye, D. Vrbanec, S. J. Wijnholds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the first limits on the Epoch of Reionization 21 cm H i power spectra, in the redshift range z = 7.9-10.6, using the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) High-Band Antenna (HBA). In total, 13.0 hr of data were used from observations centered on the North Celestial Pole. After subtraction of the sky model and the noise bias, we detect a non-zero δ2 1 = (56 ± 13 mK)2(1-σ) excess variance and a best 2-σ upper limit of δ2 21 <(79.6 mK)2at k = 0.053 h cMpc-1 in the range z = 9.6-10.6. The excess variance decreases when optimizing the smoothness of the direction- and frequency-dependent gain calibration, and with increasing the completeness of the sky model. It is likely caused by (i) residual side-lobe noise on calibration baselines, (ii) leverage due to nonlinear effects, (iii) noise and ionosphere-induced gain errors, or a combination thereof. Further analyses of the excess variance will be discussed in forthcoming publications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number65
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I.T.I. was supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (grant number ST/I000976/1). S.M. would like to acknowledge the financial assistance from the European Research Council under ERC grant number 638743-FIRSTDAWN and from the European Unions Seventh Framework Programme FP7-PEOPLE-2012-CIG grant number 321933-21ALPHA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


  • dark ages
  • first stars
  • reionization


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