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Signal processing for phased array feeds in radio astronomical telescopes

By Brian D. Jeffs, Senior Member, Karl F. Warnick Senior Member, Jonathan L, Jacob Waldron, David Jones, J. Richard Fisher and Roger D. Norrod


Abstract — Relative to traditional waveguide feeds, phased array feeds (PAFs) for radio telescopes can increase the instrument field of view and sky survey speed. Unique challenges associated with PAF observations, including extremely low signal levels, long-term system gain stability requirements, spatially correlated noise due to mutual coupling, and tight beamshape tolerances, require the development of new array signal processing techniques for this application. We propose a calibration and beamforming strategy for PAFs including interference mitigation with power spectral density (PSD) estimation bias correction. Key efficiency metrics for single-feed instruments are extended to the array case and used to verify performance of the algorithms. These techniques are validated using numerical simulations and experimental data from a 19 element PAF on the Green Bank 20-Meter Telescope

Topics: Index Terms — Adaptive arrays, Interference suppression, Radio Astronomy
Year: 2008
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