SETI & Technosignatures

All-sky Radio SETI

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
September 5, 2017
Filed under
All-sky Radio SETI
All-sky Radio SETI
All-sky Radio SETI

Over the last decade, Aperture Arrays (AA) have successfully replaced parabolic dishes as the technology of choice at low radio frequencies – good examples are the MWA, LWA and LOFAR.

Aperture Array based telescopes present several advantages, including sensitivity to the sky over a very wide field-of-view. As digital and data processing systems continue to advance, an all-sky capability is set to emerge, even at GHz frequencies. We argue that assuming SETI events are both rare and transitory in nature, an instrument with a large field-of-view, operating around the so-called water-hole (1-2 GHz), might offer several advantages over contemporary searches.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke was the first to recognise the potential importance of an all-sky radio SETI capability, as presented in his book, Imperial Earth. As part of the global SKA (Square Kilometre Array) project, a Mid-Frequency Aperture Array (MFAA) prototype known as MANTIS (Mid- Frequency Aperture Array Transient and Intensity-Mapping System) is now being considered as a precursor for SKA-2. MANTIS can be seen as a first step towards an all-sky radio SETI capability at GHz frequencies. This development has the potential to transform the field of SETI research, in addition to several other scientific programmes.

Michael Garrett (JBCA/Leiden), Andrew Siemion (Berkeley), Wim van Cappellen (ASTRON)
(Submitted on 5 Sep 2017)

Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication, Proceedings of Science, workshop on “MeerKAT Science: On the Pathway to the SKA”, held in Stellenbosch 25-27 May 2016. Comments welcome
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:1709.01338 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1709.01338v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Mike Garrett
[v1] Tue, 5 Sep 2017 11:38:14 GMT (632kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻