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Proceedings Paper

Application of one measure of search merit to optical SETI
Author(s): D. Kent Cullers
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Paper Abstract

Electromagnetic SETI searches since 1960 have used a variety of search strategies. They have sampled 22 octaves in frequency with widely different sensitivities and sky coverages. Searches used a variety of detection bandwidths and data processing techniques, and consequently, the signals to which they were best matched differed greatly. Since the methods of extraterrestrial signaling are unknown, one cannot be certain of the relative merit of SETI searches. However, under plausible assumptions about the distribution of signal parameters, it is possible to evaluate all prior and proposed searches. The approach presented here assesses search merit under assumptions of either uniform or logarithmic distribution of signaling parameters such as pulse length. Under both assumptions, NASA's radio search is the most powerful to date. This is due to its high sensitivity, obtained at the cost of large computational load, and extensive frequency and sky coverage for many signal types.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 1993
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 1867, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum, (6 August 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.150120
Show Author Affiliations
D. Kent Cullers, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1867:
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum
Stuart A. Kingsley, Editor(s)

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