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

Re: FW: SETI Fwd: Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search

Dr. H. Paul Shuch ( (no email) )
Tue, 25 Aug 1998 09:22:03 -0400

At 00:05 08/25/1998 EDT, you wrote:

>* ...and SetiLeague was founded in what year?


>(Keep in mind that this was
>probably a universal truth in 1976 based upon available hardware to the

WHich only shows that Barney was somewhat lacking in vision (with respect
specifically to how far technologies available to the amateur would advance
within his lifetime). But perhaps I'm exercising 20:20 hindsight here.

> OSETI, for another. I won't belabor this,
> since it flies in the face of international agreement and the position of
> the organization he long headed.

What that was meant to convey is that I won't belabor Barney's late support
of OSETI, because that mode is still an embarrasment to the professional
SETI establishment which he long headed.

>Frankly, if Barney hadn't snored during my 1984 colloquium

You too? I see we have much in common.

>Of course, Barney snored through everyone's colloquiums


>* But I believe he refers to it as 'Project Argus'....yep. That's what it
>circa 1993.

Bob Dixon was on our advisory board when we labeled our search "Project
Argus." We dis so with his full knowledge and assent. By then he had
started to call his device an "Argus Telescope." I doubt there will be any
confusion here, although I may be overestimating our colleagues' discernment.

>Could you cite a later paper please?

I have some works in press outlining Project ELBA, so of course you haven't
seen them yet! Meanwhile, I put out a teaser in my "Ask Dr. SETI" column a
couple of months ago. See <>.
I also touched on it in my presentation at Macarthur in January, but
unfortunately it doesn't show up in the abstract

>* Drake's FOM?

Yes, the one where he defines search volume as:

(freq coverage)x(sky coverage)x(sensitivity)^(-3/2)

He also normalized the above to Project Ozma's specs, and established the
unit "Ozma" as a basis for comparison. See Drake, 1984, SETI Science
Working Group Report, NASA Tech Paper 2244, p. 67.
BTW, my own FOM (as yet unpublished, and maybe I'll leave it that way!)
defines a term which I've dubbed SETItivity, measured in the unit Dixons
(abbreviated Dx). Bob is, after all, a big proponent of sky coverage, and
of phasing a large number of small elements.

>* Comparison to something that is already poor is not a virtue

I wouldn't call BETA poor, just a litle short of ideal. But it too is
evolutionary (and a helluva lot better than a bunch of prior searches which
we considered good science at the time).

>>Has this integration been
>realized? Perhaps you could teach BETA a thing or two...

As far as I know, none of our members is yet integrating at 120 seconds --
but the technology exists. Horowitz could easily do so, if he chose to.

Chip, I've enjoyed this dialog, and I imagine that (with one notable
exception) our members have enjoyed reading it. But now I have to get back
to other duties. Please do keep in touch.
73, Paul
H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D. -- Executive Director, The SETI League, Inc.
433 Liberty Street, PO Box 555, Little Ferry NJ 07643 USA
voice (201) 641-1770; fax (201) 641-1771; URL
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