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We present a detailed overview of the cosmological surveys that we aim to carry out with Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA1) and the science that they will enable. We highlight three main surveys: a medium-deep continuum weak lensing and low-redshift spectroscopic HI galaxy survey over 5 000 deg2; a wide and deep continuum galaxy and HI intensity mapping (IM) survey over 20 000 deg2 from
$z = 0.35$
to 3; and a deep, high-redshift HI IM survey over 100 deg2 from
$z = 3$
to 6. Taken together, these surveys will achieve an array of important scientific goals: measuring the equation of state of dark energy out to
$z \sim 3$
with percent-level precision measurements of the cosmic expansion rate; constraining possible deviations from General Relativity on cosmological scales by measuring the growth rate of structure through multiple independent methods; mapping the structure of the Universe on the largest accessible scales, thus constraining fundamental properties such as isotropy, homogeneity, and non-Gaussianity; and measuring the HI density and bias out to
$z = 6$
. These surveys will also provide highly complementary clustering and weak lensing measurements that have independent systematic uncertainties to those of optical and near-infrared (NIR) surveys like Euclid, LSST, and WFIRST leading to a multitude of synergies that can improve constraints significantly beyond what optical or radio surveys can achieve on their own. This document, the 2018 Red Book, provides reference technical specifications, cosmological parameter forecasts, and an overview of relevant systematic effects for the three key surveys and will be regularly updated by the Cosmology Science Working Group in the run up to start of operations and the Key Science Programme of SKA1.
21-cm observations of the Cosmic dawn (CD) and Epoch of Reionization (EoR) are one of the high priority science objectives for SKA Low. One of the most difficult aspects of the 21-cm measurement is the presence of foreground emission, due to our Galaxy and extragalactic sources, which is about four orders of magnitude brighter than the cosmological signal. While end-to-end simulations are being produced to investigate in details the foreground subtraction strategy, it is useful to complement this thorough but time-consuming approach with simpler, quicker ways to evaluate performance and identify possible critical steps. In this work, I present a forecast method, based on Bonaldi et al. (2015), Bonaldi & Ricciardi (2011), to understand the level of residual contamination after a component separation step, and its impact on our ability to investigate CD and EoR.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), reaching a collecting area of one square kilometre, will be the world’s largest radio telescope. Even in its first stage of deployment (SKA1, whose construction will be completed in 2026) it will enable transformational science on a very broad range of scientific objectives. Amongst them, there is the investigation of several Galactic and extra-galactic Masers. In this paper I will present the status of the SKA project and I will describe the capabilities of the SKA, with a focus on those that are more relevant for Maser science.
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