LLAMA: A new "road" for astronomical observing research

LLAMA, acronymum of "Large Latin American Millimetre Array", is a joint scientific and technological undertaking of Argentina and Brazil whose main goal is to install and to operate a 12m dish capable of studying the Universe at millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths. The construction phase of this facility is being financed by Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (MinCyT, Argentina) and the Government of Salta province (Argentina), and Fundacao de Amparo á Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo (FAPESP), Brazil, on the basis of an equal investment share. This facility will be erected in the norwestern part of Argentina, some 20 km away from the town of San Antonio de los Cobres (Salta province), at a site located 4830m above sea level. In this presentation, along with the current status of the project, we shall make a brief description of the topographic and weather characteristics of the selected site. A brief description of the instrumentation that will be available at first light and in the long run will also be presented. Besides working as a stand alone instrument (or single dish mode), this radiometer may also become part of a local network of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) that in the short term may involve already existing telescopes like APEX, ASTE, and some of the ALMA dishes. In its way, this VLBI network may be able to increase the resolving power of ALMA by an order of magnitude.