The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA)
The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) is an experiment to detect and characterize the signature of the first stars and galaxies to form in the universe. This emission reaches us at meter wavelength radio frequencies, and so requires specialized instruments to detect it. Due to the faintness of the signal, HERA must collect thousands of hours of data over hundreds of days, and the instrument needs to be characterized to exquisite precision to avoid contaminating the cosmological signal. While the radio instrumentation is relatively simple, the challenges associated with analyzing (and re-analyzing) this vast amount of data make HERA a “software telescope” – with most of our effort focused on improving our analysis techniques to make a first detection of the cosmological signal.