Simulations for 21 cm radiation lensing at EoR redshifts

Alessandro Romeo, Robert Benton Metcalf, Alkistis Pourtsidou

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We introduce simulations aimed at assessing how well weak gravitational lensing of 21cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionization (z ∼ 8) can be measured by a Square Kilometre Array (SKA)-like radio telescope. A simulation pipeline has been implemented to study the performance of lensing reconstruction techniques. We show how well the lensing signal can be reconstructed using the 3D quadratic lensing estimator in Fourier space assuming different survey strategies. The numerical code introduced in this work is capable of dealing with issues that cannot be treated analytically such as the discreteness of visibility measurements and the inclusion of a realistic model for the antennas distribution. This paves the way for future numerical studies implementing more realistic re-ionization models, foreground subtraction schemes, and testing the performance of lensing estimators that take into account the non-Gaussian distribution of HI after re-ionization. If multiple frequency channels covering z ∼ 7–11.6 are combined, Phase 1 of SKA-Low should be able to obtain good quality images of the lensing potential with a total resolution of ∼1.6 arcmin. The SKA-Low Phase 2 should be capable of providing images with high fidelity even using data from z ∼ 7.7 to 8.3. We perform tests aimed at evaluating the numerical implementation of the mapping reconstruction. We also discuss the possibility of measuring an accurate lensing power spectrum. Combining data from z ∼ 7 to 11.6 using the SKA2-Low telescope model, we find constraints comparable to sample variance in the range L < 1000, even for survey areas as small as 25 deg2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1787-1809
Number of pages23
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date24 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018


  • gravitational lensing: weak
  • dark ages, reionization, first stars
  • dark energy
  • dark matter
  • large scale structure of Universe
  • cosmolgy: theory


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