SETI & Technosignatures

Opportunities to Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence With the 500m Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
March 23, 2020
Filed under
Opportunities to Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence With the 500m Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope
Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST)

The discovery of ubiquitous habitable extrasolar planets, combined with revolutionary advances in instrumentation and observational capabilities, has ushered in a renaissance in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI).

Large scale SETI activities are now underway at numerous international facilities. The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) is the largest single-aperture radio telescope in the world, well positioned to conduct sensitive searches for radio emission indicative of exo-intelligence. SETI is one of the five key science goals specified in the original FAST project plan.

A collaboration with the Breakthrough Listen Initiative has been initiated in 2016 with a joint statement signed both by Dr. Jun Yan, the then director of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), and Dr. Peter Worden, the Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In this paper, we highlight some of the unique features of FAST that will allow for novel SETI observations. We identify and describe three different signal types indicative of a technological source, namely, narrow-band, wide-band artificially dispersed, and modulated signals. We here propose observations with FAST to achieve sensitivities never before explored.

Di Li, Vishal Gajjar, Pei Wang, Andrew Siemion, Zhisong Zhang, Haiyan Zhang Youling Yue, Yan Zhu Chengjin Jin, Shiyu Li, Sabrina Berger, Bryan Brzycki, Jeff Cobb, Steve Croft, Daniel Czech, David DeBoer, Julia DeMarines, Jamie Drew, J. Emilio Enriquez, Nectaria Gizani, Eric J. Korpela, Howard Isaacson, Matthew Lebofsky, Brian Lacki, David H. E. MacMahon, Morgan Nanez, Chenhui Niu, Xin Pei, Danny C. Price, Dan Werthimer, Pete Worden, Yunfan Gerry Zhang, Tong-Jie Zhang, FAST Collaboration
(Submitted on 21 Mar 2020)

Comments: 14 pages, 8 figures, Accepted by Research in Astron. Astrophys. (FAST special issue)
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2003.09639 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2003.09639v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Di Li
[v1] Sat, 21 Mar 2020 12:00:19 UTC (3,684 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) 🖖🏻