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30 GHz observations of sources in the Very Small Array fields




Small angular scale (high ℓ) studies of cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies require accurate knowledge of the statistical properties of extragalactic sources at cm-mm wavelengths. We have used a 30 GHz dual-beam receiver (One Centimetre Receiver Array prototype) on the Toruń 32-m telescope to measure the flux densities of 121 sources in Very Small Array fields selected at 15 GHz with the Ryle Telescope. We have detected 57 sources above a limiting flux density of 5 mJy, of which 31 sources have a flux density greater than 10 mJy, which is our effective completeness limit. From these measurements we derive a surface density of sources above 10 mJy at 30 GHz of 2.2 ± 0.4 deg−2. This is consistent with the surface density obtained by Mason et al. who observed a large sample of sources selected at a much lower frequency (1.4 GHz). We have also investigated the dependence of the spectral index distribution on flux density by comparing our results with those for sources above 1 Jy selected from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe 22 GHz catalogue. We conclude that the proportion of steep spectrum sources increases with decreasing flux density, qualitatively consistent with the predictions of de Zotti et al. We find no evidence for an unexpected population of sources above our completeness limit of 10 mJy whose spectra rise towards high frequencies, which would affect our ability to interpret current high-resolution CMB observations at 30 GHz and above.