A dual-band millimeter-wave kinetic inductance camera for the IRAM 30-meter telescope

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics – Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics

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Submitted to ApJ (abstract reduced to fit ApJ standards)

Scientific paper

10.1088/0067-0049/194/2/24

Context. The Neel IRAM KIDs Array (NIKA) is a fully-integrated measurement system based on kinetic inductance detectors (KIDs) currently being developed for millimeter wave astronomy. In a first technical run, NIKA was successfully tested in 2009 at the Institute for Millimetric Radio Astronomy (IRAM) 30-meter telescope at Pico Veleta, Spain. This prototype consisted of a 27-42 pixel camera imaging at 150 GHz. Subsequently, an improved system has been developed and tested in October 2010 at the Pico Veleta telescope. The instrument upgrades included dual-band optics allowing simultaneous imaging at 150 GHz and 220 GHz, faster sampling electronics enabling synchronous measurement of up to 112 pixels per measurement band, improved single-pixel sensitivity, and the fabrication of a sky simulator to replicate conditions present at the telescope. Results. The new dual-band NIKA was successfully tested in October 2010, performing in-line with sky simulator predictions. Initially the sources targeted during the 2009 run were re-imaged, verifying the improved system performance. An optical NEP was then calculated to be around 2 \dot 10-16 W/Hz1/2. This improvement in comparison with the 2009 run verifies that NIKA is approaching the target sensitivity for photon-noise limited ground-based detectors. Taking advantage of the larger arrays and increased sensitivity, a number of scientifically-relevant faint and extended objects were then imaged including the Galactic Center SgrB2(FIR1), the radio galaxy Cygnus A and the NGC1068 Seyfert galaxy. These targets were all observed simultaneously in the 150 GHz and 220 GHz atmospheric windows.

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