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Radome Open Letter
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To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing in support of the MIT Radio Society’s continuing effort to preserve the large radome and enclosed 5.5 m dish on the roof of Building 54 as an asset to the MIT community. The radome is currently slated for demolition in April 2021 (this coming spring).

The large radome is not only an iconic part of MIT’s skyline - the dish it protects is an active scientific instrument used by both the MIT Radio Society and the Physics Junior Laboratory (J-Lab). For the Radio Society, it provides an unparalleled platform for students experimenting with radio astronomy, control theory, digital signal processing and microwave communications.

This spring, the radome proved its value as a remote learning facility in the face of COVID-19. With the support of MIT Radio Society members, it enabled remote radio astronomy experiments for the Physics Junior Laboratory. According to Dr. Sean Robinson (Associate Director of Junior Lab), "The technical capabilities of the Radio Society's big radome coupled with its accessibility for MIT's academic program make it a uniquely valuable instrument for all manner of radio work. It was a critical element in our lab's COVID-19 response, allowing time for student lab experiences that otherwise would have been lost. Our students this spring showed that a few hours of time on the big radome can easily produce radio surveys of the Milky Way with a data quality that would normally take our most diligent students over two weeks using our smaller on-campus radiotelescope. No matter what balance of on-campus and remote teaching we have in the future, our educational program will benefit from continued access to the big radome."

In the Fall 2020 semester, the dish will continue to serve as a Junior Lab teaching instrument with continuing technical support from the Radio Society. Given the success of remote operation for Junior Lab, the Radio Society envisions additional uses for the big dish, from providing communications support for MIT Cubesat missions to continuing to support amateur radio communications and enabling new student experiments in radio astronomy and signal processing.  There are also opportunities to link the dish on Bldg. 54 with other radio dishes on campus to form an interferometric array, as well as opportunities for hands-on development of a modern control system for the dish.

However, despite the clear value of the large radome and enclosed dish to MITs academic and research mission, the current renovation plans for Building 54 will permanently remove it from the roof in April of 2021. We believe it is in the best interest of MIT’s academic mission to change these plans to preserve the large radome as a resource for the MIT community.

In the interest of preserving this proven and valuable resource for the MIT community, we request that a cost-conscious restoration of the large radome be fully evaluated prior to any final decision regarding its fate. In these uncertain economic times, we only ask for the minimal repairs needed to make the existing platform and shell safe for use, while retaining the existing equipment inside as it exists today.

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that the large radome and dish be preserved, not just as a monument to past research achievements but as an asset for MIT’s future.

Signed:

Faculty

Professor Gerald Jay Sussman SB Math '68, PhD Math '73
Panasonic Professor of Electrical Engineering
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Kerri Cahoy
Assoc. Prof.
AeroAstro

Paulo Lozano
Professor
Aeronautics and Astronautics

Prof. Olivier de Weck
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
Aeronautics and Astronautics

Sara Seager
Professor
EAPS, Physics, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Ruonan Han
Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Richard Lindzen
Professor Emeritus
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

David J Perreault
Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor
EECS

John G. Kassakian
Prof. Emeritus
EECS

Nickolai Zeldovich
Professor
EECS

richard shyduroff, KC1MJT
affiliate instructor
mit edgerton center

Tracy Slatyer
Associate Professor
Physics

Jesse Thaler
Associate Professor
Physics

Janet Conrad
Prof.
Physics

Julien de Wit
Faculty
EAPS

Gunther Roland
Professor
Physics

Jacqueline Hewitt
Professor
Physics

Kiyoshi Masui
Assistant Professor
Physics

Joseph Formaggio
Professor
Physics

Lecturers and Staff

Mary Knapp
Research Scientist
Haystack Observatory

Sean P Robinson
Lecturer, Associate Director of Physics Junior Lab
Physics

Herman Marshall
Principal Research Physicist
MKI

Amanda Bosh
Senior Lecturer
EAPS

Javier Stober
Research Engineer
MIT Media Lab

Alvar Saenz-Otero
Principal Research Scientist
AA (16)

Mike Tarkanian
Senior Lecturer
Department of Materials Science & Engineering

Erin Main
Associate Staff
MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Andrew Sweet
Senior Database Developer
MIT Press

Douglas McIlrath
Associate Staff
Lincoln Laboratory Division 9

John J. Kane
research specialist
Aero / Astro

Victor Hung
Instructor
MIT Meche

Libby Shaw
Research Staff
Materials Research Lab

Cathleen Nalezyty
Digital Publication Specialist
Open Learning

Monika Avello
Postdoc
Biology (Course 7)

Joe Diaz
Program Coordinator
Open Learning

Katy Croff Bell
Director, Open Ocean Initiative
Media Lab

Clara Sousa-Silva
Research Scientist
EAPS

Frank D. Lind
Research Engineer
MIT Haystack Observatory

William McKenna
Research Assistant
EAPS

Kazunori Akiyama
Currently Postdoc Fellow, to be a Research Scientist from September
Haystack Observatory

John Swoboda
Research Scientist
Haystack Observatory

Geoffrey B. Crew
Research Scientist
Haystack Observatory

Jens Kauffmann
Research Scientist
Haystack Observatory

Arthur Niell
Principal Research Scientist
MIT Haystack Observatory

Philip J. Erickson, Ph.D.
Assistant Director
MIT Haystack Observatory

Lodovica Illari
Senior Lecturer
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

David Shoemaker
Senior Research Scientist
Kavli Institute

Aidan MacDonagh
Technical Instructor, Digital Learning
Physics

Kay Lowden
Experiment Manager
LNS

Tim Brothers
Observatory Mgr./Technical Instructor
Wallace Astrophysical Observatory - EAPS

Angela Ellis
Senior Development Officer
EAPS

Joseph Spinale
Custodian (Licensed Amateur Radio WG1Z)
Facilities

Students

Daniel Sheen ’19 ’G
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Rihn Hong ’23
Humanities and Science (Course 21S)

Milo Hooper ’21
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Aaron Yeiser ’21
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Matthew Cox ’23
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Fischer Moseley ’22
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Alexander Tsao ’22
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Sarah Greer ’G
Mathematics (Course 18)

Dennis Giese ’G
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Paula do Vale Pereira ’G
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Greg Allan ’G
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Arthur Migdal ’21
Mathematics with Computer Science (Course 18-C)

Manwei Chan ’G
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Bobby Holden ’G
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Tesla Wells ’20 ’G
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Nicholas Belsten ’G
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Jay Lang ’21
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Christos Kakoutas ’G
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Joshua Noguera ’23
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Alexander Lam ’21
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Eryn Cornelius ’23
Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

Jessica Zhang ’23
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Nina Morch ’23
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Keanu Clark ’23
Computer Science and Molecular Biology (Course 6-7)

Fiona Lin ’23
Computer Science and Molecular Biology (Course 6-7)

Nisha Devasia ’21
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Lisa Tang ’20 ’G
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Martin Chan ’23
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

John Frank ’G
Physics (Course 8)

Enrico Colon ’23
Mathematics (Course 18)

Kerlina Liu ’22
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Erik Porter ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Enrico Colon ’23
Mathematics (Course 18)

Yichuan Shi ’23
Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)

Savva Morozov ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Bill Kuhl ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Bryan Medina ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Devin Johnson ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Lindsey Bjornstad ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Daniel Schemmel ’G
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Isabella Torres ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Rebecca McCabe ’21
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

John Zhang ’19 ’G
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Kaustav Gopinathan ’16
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Maggie Wang ’22
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

David Turner ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Jerry Zhang ’22
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Max Fan ’23
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Claire McLellan-Cassivi ’23
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Nicolas Arons ’G
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Fiona Gillespie ’22
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Elizabeth Rabenold ’23
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Jordan Wilke ’23
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Juliana Strother ’22
Biological Engineering (Course 20)

Silvia Knappe ’21
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Eren Guttentag ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Rebecca Nelson ’21
Mathematics (Course 18)

Lilly Chin ’17 ’19 ’G
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Ashley Casden ’23
Computer Science and Molecular Biology (Course 6-7)

Maxwell Yun ’21
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Lily Rose Smith ’23
Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

Eileen Hu ’20 ’21
Computer Science and Molecular Biology (Course 6-7)

Liz Obermaier ’21
Mathematics with Computer Science (Course 18-C)

Julian Zanders ’23
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Crystal Wang ’23
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Chetan Sharma ’21
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-P)

Ethan Nevidomsky ’22
Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

Em McDermott ’20
Biology (Course 7)

Max Kwon ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Greg Izatt ’G
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Shaida Nishat ’22
Biology (Course 7)

Natalie Muradyan  ’23
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Sam Ingersoll  ’22
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Lauren Abrahamsen ’23
Chemical-Biological Engineering (Course 10-B)

Amartya Shankha Biswas ’G
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

David Taschjian ’23
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Lili Sun ’23
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Roberto Bolli ’20
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Christian de Weck ’23
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Shaunticlair Ruiz ’22
Computation and Cognition (Course 6-9)

Vera Zarubin ’22
Physics (Course 8)

Cat Arase ’22
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Lily Rose Smith ’23
Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

Catherine Wilka ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Tajana Schneiderman ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Zahra Essack ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Emily Caragay ’22
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Sabrina Koseki ’22
Wellesley Biochemistry/Music

Ian Clester ’19 ’G
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Ben Kettle ’22
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Adira Balzac ’21
Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

Brandon John ’21
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Leif Clark ’23
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Jonhenry Poss ’23
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Yichuan Shi ’23
Civil and Environmental Engineering (Course 1)

Shuli Jones ’22
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Emily ’23
Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science (Course 6-14)

Ray Dedhia  ’21
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Joshua MUrray ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Amber Bick ’21
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Constantin W. Arnscheidt ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Ana Glidden ’16 ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Jackson Gray ’21
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Michael Skuhersky ’G
Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

Kylee Carden ’23
Physics (Course 8)

Miriam Rittenberg ’23
Biological Engineering (Course 20)

Lucas Igel ’22
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Emily ’23
Computer Science, Economics, and Data Science (Course 6-14)

ashay athalye ’20
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Noah Moroze ’G ’20
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Shruti Ravikumar  ’23
Computation and Cognition (Course 6-9)

Sam Pauley ’21
Political Science (Course 17)

Skye Thompson ’21
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Ali Ramadhan ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Jack Capper ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Annemarie Dapoz ’22
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Katherine Karwoski ’22
Humanities and Science (Course 21S)

Michael Gilbert ’22
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Sabina Tontici ’22
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Rohini Shivamoggi ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Ami Greene ’G
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Christopher Vargas ’23
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Amanda Broadmeadow  ’20
MIT Haystack Observatory REU

Cici Mao ’22
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Yunjie Yang ’G
Physics (Course 8)

Wenzer Qin ’G
Physics (Course 8)

Kaitlyn Przydzial ’23
Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

Debaditya Pramanik ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Daniel Mayer ’G
Physics (Course 8)

Sabrina Cheng ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Sergio Cuadra ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Emmanuel ogunde  ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Srijon Mukherjee ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Kaylee de Soto ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Luke Qi ’21
6-1/8-flex

Ian Bouche ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Juliana Drozd ’22
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Andrew Cummings ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Sujay Kazi ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Allison Couch ’21
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Rian Flynn ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Sheila Baber ’21
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Grecia Castelazo ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Alex Miller ’21
Physics (Course 8)

Botond Oreg ’G
Physics (Course 8)

Ali Ramadhan ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Martin Velez Pardo ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Santiago Benavides ’21
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Xinyu Lin ’22
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Shawnee Traylor ’G
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12)

Chih-Wei Joshua Liu ’22
Physics (Course 8)

Alumni

Quentin Smith ’10
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Tristan Honscheid ’18
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Adam Rodriguez ’19
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Ron Hoffmann ’79
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Ryan Kingsbury ’G
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Jeremy Wertheimer ’G
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Marc D. Tanner ’98
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Brian Sniffen ’00
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Michael Ford ’96
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Aaron Ucko ’00
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3) and Mathematics (Course 18)

Jeffrey I. Schiller ’79
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Gwen Edgar ’19
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Jessi Ambrose ’10
Physics (Course 8)

Elena L. Glassman ’08
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Ivan filho ’17 ’19
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Matthew Goldstein ’09 ’11
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Katherine Cherian ’18
Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

Mark Vrablic ’19
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Sheeva Azma ’05
Brain and Cognitive Sciences (Course 9)

Ava Chen ’17
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Shiloh Curtis ’20
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Houssam Kherraz ’19 ’20
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Wei Low ’17
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Leon Shen ’19
Mathematics with Computer Science (Course 18-C)

Lizhou Sha ’18
Physics (Course 8)

Nathan Pinsker ’15
Mathematics (Course 18)

Rebecca Li ’17
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Faye Duxovni ’18
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Eli Davis ’12
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Katherine Adams ’20
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Mehitabel Glenhaber ’19
Comparative Media Studies (CMS)

Byron Xu ’20
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Frederick Moore ’13
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Sarah Pohorecky ’19
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Madee Haworth ’19
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Emma Bingham ’19
Physics (Course 8)

Marianne Olsen ’19
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Zoz Brooks ’07
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Alex LaGrassa ’18 ’19
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-P)

Stephanie Dalquist ’10
Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

Matt DeBergalis ’20
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

fred r. ziegler ’81
Chemical Engineering (Course 10)

Chloe Orphanides ’20
Economics (Course 14-1)

Yiran He ’20
Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)

L. Dennis Shapiro ’55 ’57
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Tim Sheen ’76
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Erica Cooper ’09
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)

Khalil Elbaggari ’17
Electrical Science and Engineering (Course 6-1)

Max Molina ’16
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Mason Massie ’20
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Cody Daniel ’11
Mechanical Engineering (Course 2)

Michael Scarito ’10
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Robert Gens ’09
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Kyle Morgenstein ’20
Aerospace Engineering (Course 16)

Deirdre Connolly ’08
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Course 6-2)

Jim Fenton ’78
Computer Science and Engineering (Course 6-3)