Making Space

Making a Radio Telescope

Part V of Making space—for home, for preservation, for performance, for community.

Sallieu Jallou radio telescope

Sallieu Jallou '15

One of my favorite things at Bennington was the kind of classes I got to take, and what I was able to do and able to make in those classes. During my final term on campus, I took a project-based class with eight other students—How to Build a Radio Telescope. It was led by faculty members Hugh Crowl and Andrew Cencini, with technical assistance from David Norman. We built a Small Radio Telescope (SRT) from scratch, along with all the software components that go with it. The SRT is an educational tool used primarily for teaching Astronomy and Radio Information and Technology. Our project/class was a reproduction with improvements on the one previously built by the MIT Haystack Observatory. We developed a new version of the SRT code; built the feed and amplifier, assembled the dish, and mounted it on the roof of Dickinson. I hope it continues to be used by faculty, students, and the wider college community for many years to come.