Welcome to LLAMA
The Large Latin American Millimeter Array (LLAMA) is a joint scientific and technological project of Argentina and Brazil whose goal is to install and to operate an observing facility capable of performing observations of the Universe at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths. The project is being financed by Secretaria de Articulación Científico-Tecnológica from Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (MINCyT) of Argentina and Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) from Brazil. It will be operated by Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (IAR-CONICET) and Universidad de San Pablo (USP), on behalf Argentina and Brazil, respectively.
The radiotelescope will be located in the Puna de Atacama in the northwestern part of Argentina at a place whose terrestrial coordinates (longitude (λ) and latitude (φ)) are (λ,φ)=( 66º28' 29.4" (W), -24º 11' 31.4" (S)). The site, locally known as Alto Chorrillos, is located at an altitude of 4.820 meters above sea level (masl), about 180 km south-east of ALMA, with atmospheric conditions similar to those for ALMA. It is within an area of 400 hectares allocated to this project by the Government of Salta province. This place is located around 20 km, in straight line, from the town of San Antonio de los Cobres (SAC, 3800 masl). At SAC the main basecamp will be built, with laboratories and offices as well as lodging facilities to provide the infrastructure necessary for efficient operation of this remote facility.
LLAMA is a Cassegrain ALMA-type telescope, manufactured by Vertex AntennenTechnik GmbH, whose main reflector has a diameter of 12m, a target surface rms accuracy of 15 µm, and a target antenna pointing accuracy of 2 arcsec. Additionally, the radiotelescope will have two Nasmyth cabins where several single and multi-pixel receivers will be installed. The Cassegrain focus will be used to install either a bolometric camera or a heterodyne array.
The radiotelescope will be equipped with ALMA-like receivers, covering the frequency range from 35 GHz up to above 1 THz(millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths). Although initially the instrument will work mainly as a single dish telescope, it will be used as part of a Very Large Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) network. Such network may include the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE). In this way, an increased in angular resolution of at least a factor of 10 to the one currently achieved by ALMA would be possible. It is foreseen that LLAMA will eventually become part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and other millimeter networks.
The optical system is designed to be as versatile as possible. In this way, a maximum of two simultaneous receivers, with dual polarization each, could be used at any given time. Though the optical design of the telescope will not allow Cassegrain/Nasmyth simultaneous observations to be carried out, the system will have the capability of making a fast swap (within a few minutes) between instruments located at the Cassegrain focus (e.g. a MKID camera or an heterodyne array at a given frequency) and those located at a Nasmyth focus.
As a single dish radiotelescope, this instrument will be suitable for studies to be carried out in continuum and atomic or molecular spectroscopy towards astronomical objects located in a broad distance range, from the Sun to red-shifted galaxies.
Besides providing to the scientific communities of Argentina and Brazil with a new radioastronomical observing facility, LLAMA will also be opened to international collaborations both as an observing facility on its own and as a test bench for new receivers, or to host guest instruments.
Contact person in Argentina:
Dr. E. M. Arnal
Dra. C. E. Cappa
Dr. R. Morras
Contact person in Brazil:
Dr. J.R.D. Lepine
Dr. Z. Abraham