AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 75 Surveys, Catalogs and Databases
Poster, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 9:20am-4:00pm, Ballroom

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[75.04] Project Phoenix: A Summary of SETI Observations and Results, 1995 - 2004

P.R. Backus (SETI Inst.), Project Phoenix Team

Project Phoenix was a Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) that observed nearly 800 stars within about 80 parsecs over the available frequencies in the microwave spectrum from 1200 to 3000 MHz with a resolution of 0.7 Hz. The search had three major observing campaigns using the Parkes 64 meter, the NRAO 140 Foot, and the Arecibo 305 meter antennas. Phoenix used real time signal detection and immediate verification of possible ETI signals. The search looked for narrowband signals that were continuously present, or pulsed regularly, and allowed for frequency drift rates of up to about 1 Hz per second. A database of terrestrial signals found in the previous week was used to match against detections for each observation. Candidate signals, i.e., those not in the database, were checked immediately with a “pseudo-interferometric” observation using a second, distant antenna, or by simple on-off observations if the second antenna was unavailable. While millions of signals were detected, all proved to be from terrestrial technology. In conclusion, we can set upper limits on the power of narrowband transmitters in the vicinity of nearby stars.

Project Phoenix was the privately-funded continuation of the NASA Targeted Search SETI program and we gratefully acknowledge the use of NASA equipment on long term loan through 2002. The search was supported by contributions from Bernard M. Oliver, William and Rosemary Hewlett, Gordon and Betty Moore, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Paul G. Allen Foundation.

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