SETI & Technosignatures

A Search for Technosignatures From TRAPPIST-1, LHS 1140, and 10 Planetary Systems in the Kepler Field

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
January 14, 2019
Filed under
A Search for Technosignatures From TRAPPIST-1, LHS 1140, and 10 Planetary Systems in the Kepler Field
Green Bank Observatory
Green Bank Observatory

As part of our ongoing search for technosignatures, we collected over three terabytes of data in May 2017 with the L-band receiver (1.15-1.73 GHz) of the 100 m diameter Green Bank Telescope.

These observations focused primarily on planetary systems in the Kepler field, but also included scans of the recently discovered TRAPPIST-1 and LHS 1140 systems.

We present the results of our search for narrowband signals in this data set with techniques that are generally similar to those described by Margot et al. (2018). Our improved data processing pipeline classified over 98% of the ∼ 6 million detected signals as anthropogenic Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). Of the remaining candidates, 30 were detected outside of densely populated frequency regions attributable to RFI. These candidates were carefully examined and determined to be of terrestrial origin.

We discuss the problems associated with the common practice of ignoring frequency space around candidate detections in radio technosignature detection pipelines. These problems include inaccurate estimates of figures of merit and unreliable upper limits on the prevalence of technosignatures. We present an algorithm that mitigates these problems and improves the efficiency of the search. Specifically, our new algorithm increases the number of candidate detections by a factor of more than four compared to Margot et al. (2018).

A search for technosignatures from TRAPPIST-1, LHS 1140, and 10 planetary systems in the Kepler field with the Green Bank Telescope at 1.15-1.73 GHz

Pavlo Pinchuk, Jean-Luc Margot, Adam H. Greenberg, Thomas Ayalde, Chad Bloxham, Arjun Boddu, Luis Gerardo Chinchilla-Garcia, Micah Cliffe, Sara Gallagher, Kira Hart, Brayden Hesford, Inbal Mizrahi, Ruth Pike, Dominic Rodger, Bade Sayki, Una Schneck, Aysen Tan, Yinxue “Yolanda” Xiao, Ryan S. Lynch
(Submitted on 13 Jan 2019)

Comments: 17 pages, 9 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:1901.04057 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1901.04057v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Pavlo Pinchuk
[v1] Sun, 13 Jan 2019 20:38:23 UTC (2,367 KB)
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) 🖖🏻