SETI & Technosignatures

A Search For Technosignatures From 14 Planetary Systems in the Kepler Field With The Green Bank Telescope at 1.15-1.73 GHz

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
February 11, 2018
Filed under
A Search For Technosignatures From 14 Planetary Systems in the Kepler Field With The Green Bank Telescope at 1.15-1.73 GHz

Analysis of Kepler mission data suggests that the Milky Way includes billions of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of their host star.

Current technology enables the detection of technosignatures emitted from a large fraction of the Galaxy. We describe a search for technosignatures that is sensitive to Arecibo-class transmitters located within ~450 ly of Earth and transmitters that are 1000 times more effective than Arecibo within ~14 000 ly of Earth. Our observations focused on 14 planetary systems in the Kepler field and used the L-band receiver (1.15-1.73 GHz) of the 100 m diameter Green Bank Telescope.

Each source was observed for a total integration time of 5 minutes. We obtained power spectra at a frequency resolution of 3 Hz and examined narrowband signals with Doppler drift rates between +/-9 Hz s-1. We flagged any detection with a signal-to-noise ratio in excess of 10 as a candidate signal and identified approximately 850 000 candidates. Most (99%) of these candidate signals were automatically classified as human-generated radio-frequency interference (RFI).

A large fraction (>99%) of the remaining candidate signals were also flagged as anthropogenic RFI because they have frequencies that overlap those used by global navigation satellite systems, satellite downlinks, or other interferers detected in heavily polluted regions of the spectrum. All 19 remaining candidate signals were scrutinized and none could be attributed to an extraterrestrial source.

Jean-Luc Margot, Adam H. Greenberg, Pavlo Pinchuk, Akshay Shinde, Yashaswi Alladi, Srinivas Prasad MN, M. Oliver Bowman, Callum Fisher, Szilard Gyalay, Willow McKibbin, Brittany Miles, Donald Nguyen, Conor Power, Namrata Ramani, Rashmi Raviprasad, Jesse Santana, Ryan S. Lynch
(Submitted on 4 Feb 2018)

Comments: 14 pages, 4 figures, submitted
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1802.01081 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1802.01081v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Jean-Luc Margot
[v1] Sun, 4 Feb 2018 06:59:07 GMT (469kb,D)
Astrobiology, SETI

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) 🖖🏻