Carbon monoxide intensity mapping at moderate redshifts

Patrick C. Breysse, Ely D. Kovetz, Marc Kamionkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We present a study of the feasibility of an intensity-mapping survey targeting the 115 GHz CO(1-0) rotational transition at z ~ 3. We consider four possible models and estimate the spatial and angular power spectra of CO fluctuations predicted by each of them. The frequency bandwidths of most proposed CO intensity mapping spectrographs are too small to use the Limber approximation to calculate the angular power spectrum, so we present an alternative method for calculating the angular power spectrum. The models we consider span two orders of magnitude in signal amplitude, so there is a significant amount of uncertainty in the theoretical predictions of this signal. We then consider a parametrized set of hypothetical spectrographs designed to measure this power spectrum and predict the signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) expected under these models.With the spectrographs we consider we find that three of the four models give an SNR greater than 10 within one year of observation.We also study the effects on SNR of varying the parameters of the survey in order to demonstrate the importance of carefully considering survey parameters when planning such an experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3506-3512
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Diffuse radiation
  • Large-scale structure of universe


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