We present the antenna design for a radio interferometer, the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager, together with its beam pattern measurement. Our aim was to develop a low-cost system with high aperture efficiency and low ground spill across the frequency range 12-18 GHz. We use a modified Cassegrain system consisting of a commercially available paraboloidal primary mirror with a diameter of 3.7 m, and a shaped secondary mirror. The secondary mirror is oversized with respect to a ray optics design and has a surface that is bent towards the primary near its outer edge using a square term for the shaping. The antennas are simple to manufacture and therefore their cost is low. The design increased the antenna gain by approximately 10 per cent compared to a normal Cassegrain system while still maintaining low contamination from ground spill and using a simple design for the horn. © 2008 RAS.
- Instrumentation: interferometers
- Techniques: interferometric