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Optical SETI at Harvard-Smithsonian

Howard, Andrew and Horowitz, Paul and Coldwell, Charles and Klein, Samuel and Sung, Anne and Wolff, Jonathan (2000) Optical SETI at Harvard-Smithsonian. In: Bioastronomy '99: A New Era in the Search for Life. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series. No.213. Astronomical Society of the Pacific , San Francisco, CA, pp. 545-552. ISBN 9781583810446.

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A high-intensity pulsed laser, teamed with a moderate sized transmitting telescope, forms an efficient interstellar beacon. To a distant observer in the direction of its slender beam, such a laser transmitter, built with "Earth 2000" technology only, would appear (during its brief pulse) a thousand times brighter than our sun in broadband visible light; even at ranges of 1000 light years a single nanosecond laser pulse would deliver roughly a thousand photons to a 10-meter receiving telescope. We have built a photometer to search for such unresolved pulses, and are using it in a piggyback targeted search of some 2500 nearby solar-type stars. The photometer receives about 1/3 of the light focused by the 1.5-meter optical reflector, otherwise unused by the primary experiment (a stellar radial-velocity survey). A beamsplitter followed by a pair of fast hybrid avalanche detectors is triggered in coincidence to record the time and intensity profile of large pulses. In the first year of operation the system has made ~8500 observations of ~2500 separate stellar candidates, amounting to 50 days of cumulative observation time. We review those observations, and suggest follow-on experiments.

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Howard, Andrew0000-0001-8638-0320
Additional Information:© 2000 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. We graciously recognize the enlightened support of The Planetary Society, The Bosack-Kruger Foundation, and The SETI Institute.
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The Planetary Society (TPS)UNSPECIFIED
Bosack-Kruger FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series
Issue or Number:213
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170705-135151564
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:78771
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Jul 2017 22:36
Last Modified:31 Oct 2019 02:17

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