First results from the Very Small Array - I. Observational methods

Robert A. Watson, Pedro Carreira, Kieran Cleary, Rod D. Davies, Richard J. Davis, Clive Dickinson, Keith Grainge, Carlos M. Gutiérrez, Michael P. Hobson, Michael E. Jones, Rüdiger Kneissl, Anthony Lasenby, Klaus Maisinger, Guy G. Pooley, Rafael Rebolo, José Alberto Rubiño-Martin, Ben Rusholme, Richard D E Saunders, Richard Savage, Paul F. ScottAnže Slosar, Pedro J Sosa Molina, Angela C. Taylor, David Titterington, Elizabeth Waldram, Althea Wilkinson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The Very Small Array (VSA) is a synthesis telescope designed to image faint structures in the cosmic microwave background on degree and sub-degree angular scales. The VSA has key differences from other CMB interferometers with the result that different systematic errors are expected. We have tested the operation of the VSA with a variety of blank-field and calibrator observations, and cross-checked its calibration scale against independent measurements. We find that systematic effects can be suppressed below the thermal noise level in long observations; the overall calibration accuracy of the flux density scale is 3.5 per cent and is limited by the external absolute calibration scale.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1057-1065
    Number of pages8
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003


    • Cosmic microwave background
    • Cosmology: observations
    • Instrumentation: interferometers


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