A way to learn about cosmic inflation is constraining the primordial non-Gaussianity parameter fNL from the galaxy power spectrum. I demonstrate how systematic effects, such as obscuration of galaxies in angular directions with high stellar densities, can mimic a false detection of fNL. I assess and develop techniques to remove such contaminants when calculating the 3D galaxy power spectrum.
Separating the process into three separate stages: (i) removing the contaminant signal, (ii) estimating the uncontaminated cosmological power spectrum and (iii) debiasing the resulting estimates. For (i), we showed in a recent paper that removing the best-fitting contaminant (mode subtraction) and setting the contaminated components of the covariance to be infinite (mode deprojection) are mathematically equivalent. For (ii), performing a quadratic maximum likelihood (QML) estimate after mode deprojection gives an optimal unbiased solution, although it requires the manipulation of large matrices, which is unfeasible for recent 3D galaxy surveys. Measuring a binned average of the modes for (ii) as proposed by Feldman, Kaiser & Peacock (FKP) is faster and simpler, but is sub-optimal and gives rise to a biased solution. We present a method to debias the resulting FKP measurements that does not require any large matrix calculations. We argue that the suboptimality of the FKP estimator compared with the QML estimator, caused by contaminants, is less severe than that commonly ignored due to the survey window.
I present how I am applying the debiased FKP estimator on BOSS DR12 data. I finish with an outlook of how fNL constraints will improve in the future.