archive: SETI Fwd: Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search

SETI Fwd: Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search

MarcusJohn@aol.com
Fri, 21 Aug 1998 21:24:21 EDT

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This just came through the business news wire. It has some good news for SETI
enthusiasts. Dr. Shuch should consider adding it to the collection of news
articles. By the way Paul, do you know Nathan Cohen?

John Marcus.

In a message dated 8/21/98 6:37:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, AOL News writes:

> Subj: Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search
> Date: 8/21/98 6:37:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time
> From: AOL News
> BCC: MarcusJohn
>
> Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search
>
> BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 21, 1998--SETINOW reports that
> scientists conducting Searches for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
> recently received good news: ET signals may be numerous because the
> transmitting technology is easy to develop. In the latest issue of the
> journal SetiQuest, Boston University professor and radio astronomer Nathan
> Cohen shows how a device called an 'aperture engine' could be used to
> transmit across the Galaxy.
>
> SETI uses radio telescopes to attempt reception of radio transmissions
> from ET's from distant stars in the galaxy and beyond. No ET signals have
> been found to date. SETI is considered a legitimate scientific enterprise
and
> is not connected with UFO studies or alleged alien abductions.
>
> A cosmic signal's transmitted power must be made very large.
> Traditional thinking dictates doing this by using a powerful and expensive
> transmitter or through the magnification or 'gain' from a very large antenna
> dish. This produces an inefficient and expensive technological tradeoff.
>
> Cohen says the two are likely to be linked as an optimized, aperture
> engine. The transmitting antenna also is a stellar power collector and
> transmitter module array, combining three key functions in one physical
area,
> with high efficiency. It would look like a collection of flat panels with
> multiple layers. A typical aperture engine would be a dozen acres on a side
> for transmission to Earth from the other side of the Galaxy, 70,000 light
> years away. For closer transmissions out to 1000 light years it would be
> slightly bigger than a football field. The closest star is about 4 light
> years away.
>
> The total number of ET civilizations spread across the Galaxy is a
> matter of speculation. Guesses run between 1 and 100,000,000. No matter how
> big or small the actual number, Cohen suggests that there is a good chance a
> vast majority of them above a modest technological threshhold are capable of
> trying to contact us or others with radio transmissions from aperture
engines.
> Even distant and humble ET's will have the chance for a cosmic contact.
> Cohen adds: "ET contact is not just the plaything of the few super-smart
> civilizations, but even the far more numerous ones at our level or slightly
> above it." Asked to speculate on the number of detectable ET's Cohen guessed
> between 100 and 100,000. "But we have no useful data which constrains that
> number. Until you find any ET's and survey the sky correctly no one knows",
> he cautioned.
>
> Cohen also cautions that the optimized effort on the transmit side has
> to be matched by one on our end, and that the conversation is one-way,
> because of the great distances and time scales. "For a chance to find even
> one ET signal, you need patience, the largest radio telescopes and to look
at
> thousands of stars at a time", explains Cohen, " also you have to be smart
> enough to know that the changing, thin plasma of space requires a special
> spread spectrum method called polychromatic SETI." At the moment, says
Cohen,
> ongoing Earth SETI's are receive-only and fall substantially short of
> optimized efforts. The most comprehensive survey has looked at less than 700
> stars out of 500 billion in the galaxy. "The amazing thing is not that we've
> found nothing so far, but that we're not doing the receive effort the right
> way." Cohen believes SETI will be successful within a generation of changing
> its observing strategies.
>
> Copies of the SetiQuest issue may be purchased through its website (
> http://www.setiquest.com). SETINOW sponsors dissemination of important
> breakthroughs in the SETI through its in-construction web site, scheduled
for
> a September debut.
>
> CONTACT:
>
> SETINOW
>
> Rick Gordon or Phil Salkind
>
> 617-489-6207
>

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From: AOLNews@aol.com
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Subject: Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 18:37:04 EDT
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Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 21, 1998--SETINOW reports that scientists
conducting Searches for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) recently received
good news: ET signals may be numerous because the transmitting technology is
easy to develop. In the latest issue of the journal SetiQuest, Boston
University professor and radio astronomer Nathan Cohen shows how a device
called an 'aperture engine' could be used to transmit across the Galaxy.

SETI uses radio telescopes to attempt reception of radio transmissions
from ET's from distant stars in the galaxy and beyond. No ET signals have been
found to date. SETI is considered a legitimate scientific enterprise and is
not connected with UFO studies or alleged alien abductions.

A cosmic signal's transmitted power must be made very large. Traditional
thinking dictates doing this by using a powerful and expensive transmitter or
through the magnification or 'gain' from a very large antenna dish. This
produces an inefficient and expensive technological tradeoff.

Cohen says the two are likely to be linked as an optimized, aperture
engine. The transmitting antenna also is a stellar power collector and
transmitter module array, combining three key functions in one physical area,
with high efficiency. It would look like a collection of flat panels with
multiple layers. A typical aperture engine would be a dozen acres on a side
for transmission to Earth from the other side of the Galaxy, 70,000 light
years away. For closer transmissions out to 1000 light years it would be
slightly bigger than a football field. The closest star is about 4 light years
away.

The total number of ET civilizations spread across the Galaxy is a matter
of speculation. Guesses run between 1 and 100,000,000. No matter how big or
small the actual number, Cohen suggests that there is a good chance a vast
majority of them above a modest technological threshhold are capable of trying
to contact us or others with radio transmissions from aperture engines. Even
distant and humble ET's will have the chance for a cosmic contact. Cohen adds:
"ET contact is not just the plaything of the few super-smart civilizations,
but even the far more numerous ones at our level or slightly above it." Asked
to speculate on the number of detectable ET's Cohen guessed between 100 and
100,000. "But we have no useful data which constrains that number. Until you
find any ET's and survey the sky correctly no one knows", he cautioned.

Cohen also cautions that the optimized effort on the transmit side has to
be matched by one on our end, and that the conversation is one-way, because of
the great distances and time scales. "For a chance to find even one ET signal,
you need patience, the largest radio telescopes and to look at thousands of
stars at a time", explains Cohen, " also you have to be smart enough to know
that the changing, thin plasma of space requires a special spread spectrum
method called polychromatic SETI." At the moment, says Cohen, ongoing Earth
SETI's are receive-only and fall substantially short of optimized efforts. The
most comprehensive survey has looked at less than 700 stars out of 500 billion
in the galaxy. "The amazing thing is not that we've found nothing so far, but
that we're not doing the receive effort the right way." Cohen believes SETI
will be successful within a generation of changing its observing strategies.

Copies of the SetiQuest issue may be purchased through its website
(http://www.setiquest.com). SETINOW sponsors dissemination of important
breakthroughs in the SETI through its in-construction web site, scheduled for
a September debut.

CONTACT:

SETINOW

Rick Gordon or Phil Salkind

617-489-6207

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