Journal articles

OSETI with STACEE: A Search for Nanosecond Optical Transients from Nearby Stars

By Keith Cowing
June 20, 2009

We have used the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) high-energy gamma-ray detector to look for fast blue-green laser pulses from the vicinity of 187 stars. The STACEE detector offers unprecedented light-collecting capability for the detection of nanosecond pulses from such lasers. We estimate STACEE’s sensitivity to be approximately 10photons/m2 at a wavelength of 420nm.

The stars have been chosen because their characteristics are such that they may harbor habitable planets, and they are relatively close to Earth. Each star was observed for 10 minutes, and we found no evidence for laser pulses in any of the data sets.

Key Words: Search for extraterrestrial intelligence–Optical search for extraterrestrial intelligence–Interstellar communication–Laser.

Astrobiology. May 2009, 9(4): 345-357.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.