IAP 2019

Lectures on Radio Technology, History, and Applications

by guest speakers from Nokia, MIT Haystack, and CWRU

Hosted by The MIT Radio Society and EECS

Beginning Tuesday January 8th at 5:30PM in room 3-270

Have you ever wondered about the underlying principles behind WiFi? How radar works, or how we know so much about the early universe? Or even just what those people are doing up on the Green Building roof at such odd hours?

This IAP, the MIT Radio Society (W1MX, MIT’s Amateur Radio Club) and EECS are hosting a lecture series on everything radio, taught by speakers hailing from MIT Haystack, CWRU, and Nokia. Each talk will be a self-contained window into a different facet of radio, ranging from signal modulation, radio propagation, and amateur radio, to radar, radio astronomy, and space-based applications, to the technologies behind cellular communications and 5G. No prior experience with radio is necessary or expected and all are welcome. Feel free to attend individual lectures, or better yet come to all of them!

Philip Erickson
MIT Haystack Observatory
An Introduction to Radio Experimentation, Technology, and History
Tuesday January 8, 5:30-7:00pm Room 3-270

Kristina Collins, David Kazdan, and Nathaniel Vishner
Case Amateur Radio Club W8EDU
Baba Yaga’s Hut: A Laboratory Experience in Signal Modulation and Phasor Analysis
Wednesday January 9, 5:30-7:00pm Room 3-270

Frank Lind
MIT Haystack Observatory
Software Defined Radio
Thursday January 10, 5:30-7:00pm Room 3-270

Philip Erickson
MIT Haystack Observatory
The Ionosphere, Shortwave Radio, and Propagation
Friday January 11, 5:30-7:00pm Room 3-270

Alan Rogers
MIT Haystack Observatory
Experimental Radio Astronomy
Tuesday January 15, 5:30-7:00pm Room 3-270

Mary Knapp
MIT Haystack Observatory, MIT Radio Society W1MX
The Final Frontier: Unveiling the Low Frequency Universe Through Space Based Radio Astronomy
Wednesday January 16, 5:30-7:00pm Room 3-270

Frank Lind
MIT Haystack Observatory
Principles of Radar
Thursday January 17, 5:30-7:00pm Room 3-270

Anthea Coster
MIT Haystack Observatory
Space Weather Observations and Phenomena
Monday January 21, 5:30-7:00pm Room 3-270 (location pending final confirmation from schedules office)

Joel Dawson
Nokia, Co Founder of Eta Devices and Eta Wireless
5G, Cellular Communications, and the Future of Radio
wednesday, January 23, 3:00-4:00pm Room 3-270 (note this is not the same time as other lectures)

The schedule can also be found on the IAP Guide along with a few other Radio Society events, as well as on the EECS IAP page. More info about all our speakers is below:

Dr. Phil Erickson
Dr. Philip J. Erickson, W1PJE, is an assistant director and head of the Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences group at Haystack Observatory, operated by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since the late 1950s, MIT Haystack, located in Westford, MA, has used radio science to conduct frontier research into the properties of the near-Earth space environment, including the ionosphere, neutral atmosphere, overlying plasmasphere, and the magnetosphere that surrounds our planet. Dr. Erickson is a licensed Extra class amateur and a member of ARRL, RSGB, the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club (NVARC), and the HamSCI initiative. He holds B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and space plasma physics from Cornell University and is a member of both the American Geophysical Union and the International Radio Science Union. Dr. Erickson is the lead principal investigator of a National Science Foundation sponsored UHF megawatt class ionospheric radar at MIT Haystack, and has authored or co-authored 75+ refereed articles in the areas of ionospheric and magnetospheric phenomena and radio physics. Dr. Erickson started his radio career with a random wire and a Hallicrafters SX-110 receiver, and enjoys 6 meter and HF propagation, QRP, EME, RF design, and digital weak signal modes.
Kristina Collins
Kristina Collins KD8OXT is a PhD student in electrical engineering at Case Western Reserve University and a longtime member of the Case Amateur Radio Club, W8EDU. She does research on space laser robots and virtual hands. She likes bells, boats, and radios, among other things.
Dr. Dave Kazdan
David Kazdan AD8Y SB VI-1 ‘81, SB XXI (music) ‘81, MD University of Cincinnati ‘85, PhD Case Western Reserve University ‘92. He has been an active amateur radio operator since 1970. At MIT, he maintained an amateur station on Burton One with his roommate Joe Pingree WB2TVB, and was a member of MIT Radio Society. He has retired from his anesthesiology practice and is now adjunct assistant professor of electrical engineering at Case Western Reserve University, where he is the faculty advisor of the Case Amateur Radio Club W8EDU.
Nathaniel Vishner
Nathaniel Vishner KB1QHX recently finished a BA in History and Philosophy of Science at Case Western Reserve University on the circuitous route. He reestablished the Case Amateur Radio Club, W8EDU as a student group mainly as a way to get free pizza from the student government and has watched the club snowball and grow into a force to be reckoned with. He enjoys tinkering, poking at equipment, and seeing what loopholes can be exploited for profit.
Dr. Frank Lind
Dr. Frank D. Lind is a Research Engineer at MIT Haystack Observatory where he works to develop and use radio science instrumentation. At the Observatory he leads many technical efforts involving software radio instrumentation cutting across Geospace, Astronomy, and Space science. These instruments are used to make detailed physical measurements and have been part of many NSF, NASA, and DoD supported investigations. Key instrumentation includes the National Science Foundation’s Millstone Hill Geospace Radar Facility, the RAPID (Radio Array of Portable Interferometric Detectors) system, low cost array radars, software defined radio architectures for radio telescopes, and efforts to develop a space borne electromagnetic vector sensor for the upcoming NASA AERO (Aurora Emissions Radio Observer) and VISTA (Vector Interferometry Space Technology using AERO) cubesat missions. Dr. Lind studied at the University of Washington where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science in 1994. He then joined the UW Geophysics Program and pursued studies leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics in 1999. His work there focused on Passive Radar observations of the Aurora Borealis. He is a prior chair of USNC URSI Commission G (United States National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science), a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and a member of the IEEE.
Dr. Alan Rogers

Alan E. E. Rogers was born in Zimbabwe in 1941 and as an amateur radio operator ZE6JG published his first paper in QST in 1962. He came to MIT as a student in 1962 and worked on his thesis under Alan H. Barrett at Haystack and in 1967 received his Ph.D. from MIT in Electrical Engineering. He joined the staff of Haystack Observatory in 1968 where he carried out research in Radio and Radar Interferometry. He aided in the development of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) for Geodesy and Astronomy. From 1994 to 2002 he worked with industry in the development of radio location systems for cellular phones and from 2002 to 2006 helped build an array of antennas at 327 MHz used to measure the deuterium abundance in the interstellar gas of the Galaxy.

In 2006 he retired to his present position of M.I.T. Research Affiliate at Haystack Observatory to work on an Experiment to Detect the Global EoR Signature (EDGES) project and low cost spectrometers used to measure the Ozone concentration and wind velocity in the Mesosphere. In 2012 he helped with the holographic measurements of the surface of the new 37m antenna at Haystack. In 2018 the EDGES project detected an absorption in the sky-averaged spectrum at 78 MHz which if confirmed to be real and not the result of instrumental effects could be from the epoch of the first stars in the universe at about 180 million years after the Big Bang.

His outreach activities include the development and support of the Small Radio Telescope (SRT) used by students around the world to observe the 21-cm hydrogen line at 1420 MHz and to demonstrate the presence of dark matter by measuring the galactic rotation curve.

In 2008 he received the Dellinger Gold Medal and in 2010 the Grote Reber, a founder of radio astronomy and radio amateur W9GFZ, Medal for his contributions to Radio Astronomy. Alan Rogers is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of the American Astronomical as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society.

Dr. Mary Knapp

Mary Knapp (‘11, PhD ‘18) is a research scientist at MIT Haystack Observatory. Dr. Knapp is Project Scientist for ASTERIA, a CubeSat technology demonstration mission. Her research interests include development of space-based radio telescopes, CubeSats mission design and instrumentation for novel science applications, and radio detection of exoplanets. Dr. Knapp’s PhD thesis research focused on interferometric imaging to search for Jovian-like radio emission from extrasolar planets.

Dr. Anthea Coster

Dr. Anthea J. Coster is an Assistant Director and principal research scientist at the MIT Haystack Observatory. Her research interests include space weather, ionospheric and atmospheric coupling, and GPS positioning and measurement accuracy. She received her Ph.D. in Space Physics and Astronomy from Rice University in 1983, under the guidance of William E. Gordon, the founder of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. In 1991, she and her co-workers developed the first real-time ionospheric monitoring system based on GPS. In 2001, she used GPS total electron content (TEC) maps to image the plume of storm enhanced density (SED) that is frequently observed over the United States following geomagnetic storms. This SED feature has severe impacts on the FAA’s wide area augmentation system (WAAS). Recently, she has used GPS to monitor the effect of the 2017 solar eclipse, and to monitor traveling ionospheric disturbances following large space weather storms. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation, and has served on the Institute of Navigation (ION) Council (2001-2006) and as secretary for the ION Satellite Division (2013-2015). She is the past commission G chair for URSI, and has also served on the NSF CEDAR steering committee. She is a lecturer in the ION-sponsored Workshop on Science Applications in GNSS in Developing Countries, and has traveled to Italy, Azerbaijan, Rwanda, and Ethiopia to present space weather lectures.

Dr. Joel Dawson

Dr. Joel Dawson is well known in the RF world for his many contributions to RF architectures and efficient power amplifier systems. He got his undergraduate degree at MIT, did his doctoral work at Stanford with Tom Lee and later returned to MIT as a Professor. He left MIT to found Eta Devices (as CTO) based on some of his MIT research - a new architecture enabling major improvement in the achievable efficiencies of cell phone and base station transmitters. Eta Devices was successfully acquired by Nokia in 2016 (which is deploying this new technology in basestations) and led to a follow-on startup company Eta Wireless (which is pursuing the handset and wifi spaces for the technology). Joel now leads a group at Nokia both disseminating the technology into 4G basestations and developing new 5G systems which exploit these ideas to achieve much higher efficiency.

We would like to extend a big thank you to all our speakers, to everyone else who has helped make this happen, and a special thanks to Anne Hunter. We couldn’t have hoped to pull this off without all of you!