archive: Re: Article on SETI League member Mike Adams

Re: Article on SETI League member Mike Adams
Mon, 5 Oct 1998 16:23:00 EDT

In a message dated 98-10-05 16:11:07 EDT, you write:

Is this a little mistake about the radio dial? I think they confused
MHz with kHz...

> Although an alien transmission could be
> carried on billions of possible
> frequencies, SETI limits itself to a small
> part of the radio spectrum, around 1420
> to 1660 megahertz, the numbers on the
> right side of an AM radio dial, Adams
> said.

Worse yet, it is absolutely incorrect. There is nothing about the medium or
the sky noise that favors these frequencies. Highest SNR is achieved over a
larger range than this (about 1-10 GHz at least). In fact, from a gain
standpoint, the same geometric aperture has greater sensitivity at 8 GHz, for
example, although its figure of merit is lower if the same sensitivity limit
is used.

The 'water hole' sounds romantic but it has no basis . It is a remnant of the
days--unfortunately slow to pass--when 'magic frequencies' were passed off as
a solution to our lack of technological savvy in making man channel MCSA's.

Chip N1IR