AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 7 Astrobiology, SETI, Laboratory Astrophysics
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-7:00pm, January 9, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[7.02] Galactic Plane SETI Observations with the Allen Telescope Array

P.R. Backus, J.C. Tarter, M.M. Davis, J.C. Jordan, T.N. Kilsdonk, G.S. Shostak, R. Ackerman, D.R. DeBoer, J.W. Dreher, G.R. Harp, J.E. Ross, R. Stauduhar (SETI Institute)

In the spring of 2006, the Allen Telescope Array (ATA), a joint effort of the U.C. Berkeley Radio Astronomy Lab and the SETI Institute, will begin initial operations. Starting with 42 antennas out of a planned 350, the array will be equivalent to a single 40 meter dish. Using three phased beams, we will survey twenty square degrees around the galactic center for narrowband signals in the frequency range from 1410 to 1730 MHz (the “Water Hole”). Comparison of results from the beams will be used to eliminate signals from terrestrial and satellite sources. At these frequencies, the wide field of view of the array allows us to cover the 2 x 10 degree strip with five antenna positions. The field of view will track one of the five positions for up to five hours, while the phased beams are pointed within the field of view for 98 seconds per 20 MHz frequency band. During these SETI observations spanning approximately seven months, other radio astronomy observations of this very interesting region will run in parallel using two other independently tunable IF systems with a correlator and other phase array beams feeding other backend processors.

Construction of the ATA is supported by private funding, primarily from the Paul G. Allen Foundation. The correlator for the ATA is supported by NSF Grant AST-0322309 to the UCB Radio Astronomy Lab.

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