The Very Small Array is an instrument designed to study the CMB, in particular the angular power spectrum. This is the amplitude of the primordial fluctuations on a range of angular scales. Several broad peaks are predicted by theory. The amplitude and position of these peaks convey information about the content and physical processes shapin the very early universe. The VSA experiment is a collaboration between The University of Manchester, Cambridge University and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (on Tenerife). It is located at the Observatorio del Teide on Tenerife. The actual instrument was built by the Cavendish group at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory and at Jodrell Bank Observatory. The funding of 2.5 million pounds was provided by PPARC.

The instrument

The VSA is an 14 element interferometer. Each receiver consists of a corrugated horn antenna and a reflector mirror. The 14 horn antennas are fixed on a 3 by 4 m tiltable table. The antennas can be placed at any position on the table, thereby forming baselines of varying lengths. The signals collected by the antennae are passed to a correlator.

Galactic science with the VSA

Cosmology with the VSA

The Very Small Array.