SETI & Technosignatures

Intermittent Signals And Planetary Days In SETI

By Keith Cowing
September 15, 2021
Filed under
Intermittent Signals And Planetary Days In SETI

Interstellar signals might be intermittent for many reasons, such as targeted sequential transmissions, or isotropic broadcasts that are not on continuously, or many other reasons.

The time interval between such signals would be important, because searchers would need to observe for long enough to achieve an initial detection and possibly determine a period.

This article suggests that: (1) the power requirements of interstellar transmissions could be reduced by orders of magnitude by strategies that would result in intermittent signals, and (2) planetary rotation might constrain some transmissions to be intermittent and in some cases to have the period of the source planet, and (3) signals constrained by planetary rotation might often have a cadence in the range of 10-25 hours, if the majority of planets in our solar system are taken as a guide.

Extended observations might be needed to detect intermittent signals and are rarely used in SETI but are feasible, and seem appropriate when observing large concentrations of stars or following up on good candidate signals.

Robert H. Gray

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Journal reference: International Journal of Astrobiology, Volume 19, Issue 4, 299-307, August 2020
DOI: 10.1017/S1473550420000038
Cite as: arXiv:2109.06175 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2109.06175v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Robert Gray
[v1] Sun, 12 Sep 2021 19:47:42 UTC (207 KB)

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) 🖖🏻