S. Chiarucci and S. J. Wijnholds, "Blind calibration of radio interferometric arrays using sparsity constraints and its implications for self-calibration," Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, V474, no. 1, pp1028-1040, February 2018.

Blind calibration, i.e., calibration without a priori knowledge of the source model, is robust to the presence of unknown sources such as transient phenomena or (low power) broadband RFI that escaped detection. In this paper, we present a novel method for blind calibration of a radio interferometric array assuming that the observed field only contains a small number of discrete point sources. We show the huge computational advantage over previous blind calibration methods and we assess its statistical efficiency and its robustness to noise and the quality of the initial estimate. We demonstrate the method on actual data from a LOFAR LBA station showing that our blind calibration is able to recover the same gain solutions as the regular calibration approach, as expected from theory and simulations. We also discuss the implications of our findings for the robustness of regular self-calibration to poor starting models.

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