AAS 202nd Meeting, May 2003
Session 36 The Dynamic Radio Sky
Topical Oral, Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 8:30-10:00am and 10:45am-12:30pm, 205/206

[Previous] | [Session 36] | [Next]

[36.06] Detection of Transient Signals from Extraterrestrial Technologies

J.C. Tarter (SETI Institute)

If you were an engineer and wanted to build a beacon with which to attract the attention of any emerging technological civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy, how would you do it? SETI 2020: A Roadmap for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (a recent report of the SETI Science and Technology Working Group) describes a number of different beacon scenarios, as well as examples of leakage radiation, all of which would lead to signal types that appear as transients in the sky of any given receiving civilization. Most SETI searches to date have been ill-matched to the problem of finding transient signals; the dwell time on source has been short, and the same directions have not been revisited very often. Both the Omnidirectional SETI System (OSS) proposed in SETI 2020, and the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) will offer greatly improved opportunities for detecting radio transients, whether they are from technological or astrophysical sources. The ATA should be operational within a few years, but the OSS will not be affordable until Moore's Law has significantly reduced the cost for the compute power needed to form all beams on the sky and all frequency channels in the spectrometers. This is estimated to be {~1016-1021} ops depending on the total collecting area of the array. Nevertheless, the opportunity to build a radio-fly's-eye or radio camera (suggested by Robert Dixon in 1988) is now getting close enough to warrant prototyping and construction of small size arrays and receivers; several programs are underway.

[Previous] | [Session 36] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.