Research project on the history of the Arecibo Observatory
In the early 1960s, the US military began construction of the Arecibo Antenna as an armed forces project. When I visited the site, Mr. Sletten (a friend and mentor) was not listed as one of its creators. Political tensions of the Cold War prevented Sletten and others from receiving recognition. With the recent collapse of the antenna, we are compiling documentation proving that he was one of its main creators.
Carlyle J. "Carl" Sletten, was an outstanding scientist and Chief of the Microwave Physics Laboratory of the Air Force Cam bridge Research Laboratories (AFCRL) for many years. Born in Chetek, Wisconsin, he studied meteorology at the University of Michigan, and continued his training at Chanute Field, Illinois. He was later commissioned a lst Lt. in the Army Air Corps. In 1945, he attended the Radar Schools at both Harvard and MIT. After his honorable discharge in 1946, he earned a BS in Physics, Phi Beta Kappa, at the University of Wisconsin, and an MS, in 1949, from the Harvard University Division of Engi neering and Applied Science.
He joined AFCRL in 1949, and later became the Director of its Microwave Physics Laboratory, which he led with brilliance, compassion, and a concern for its future. In 1963, he served a year at the University of Madrid, Spain, as a Fulbright Professor, teaching electronics and e1ectromagnetics. In 1977, he also served as a special consultant to the United Nations at PUC University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After retiring from AFCRL, he was a founding partner of Solar Energy Technology, Inc., and later a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at GTE-Communications Systems Division in Needham, MA.
Carl became a Fel low of the IEEE in 1966, and was the AP-S President in 1973. His lifelong work was in microwave antenna design. He held five patents, and authored and edited numerous books and essays on both technical and philosophical subjects. Among his many important contributions was the 1951 analysis and experimental confirmation of the correction of aberration by a line-source feed in a spherical reflector. He created·an amplitude scanning technique and the proximity-coupled arar y. He also developed concepts for virtual beamforming in radars, first for determining height, and later for resolution in VHF radars.
Carl was an active amateur radio operator. His ability to speak and write five languages helped give him an appreciation and fondness for people of all races and cultures, which became a driving force throughout his life. Carl was a resident of Acton, Massachusetts, for 50 years, where he was deeply committed to his church. He was very involved in helping the less fortunate, and traveled numerous times to Honduras on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and other programs.
Ruth Sletten and Carl J. Sletten
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