Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Newburgh, Laura


The Hydrogen Intensity and Real-time Analysis eXperiment (HIRAX) is a 21 cm neutral hydrogen intensity mapping experiment to be deployed in the Karoo Desert in South Africa. It aims to improve constraints on the dark energy equation of state through measurements of large-scale structure at high redshift, while doubling as a state-of-the-art fast radio burst (FRB) detector. This dissertation focuses on two aspects of the HIRAX instrument characterization: (1) optimizing the signal-to-noise of antennas, through the design and implementation of a custom test-bed for determining the noise temperature of radio antennas operating between 400-800MHz, and (2) mapping the HIRAX telescope beam pattern with a custom drone calibration system. The work described is critical to HIRAX's development, both by informing final antenna design and providing the tools to generate beam maps that will factor into all cosmological analysis.