archive: SETI Re: Sensitivity of the Argus Project

SETI Re: Sensitivity of the Argus Project

Dr. H. Paul Shuch ( (no email) )
Thu, 17 Sep 1998 13:18:19 -0400

At 09:56 AM 9/16/98 -0400, Yvan Dutil wrote:

>I am one of the scientific consellor of the Encounter 2001 project. One
>part of this
>project imply sending a radio message in the interstellar space with the
>hope it will
>be detect by an extra-terrestrial civilisation.

>In order to tune the details of the
>scenario, I would like to know what is the sensitivity of your installations.
>I need also an extimate of the the respond time expected to confirm the
>and contact the professionnal SETI organisation.

The technical specifications (including sensitivity) of the Project Argus
network are widely docemented in the literature, and in fact may be found
in several articles by me on The SETI League's website. Our online Tech
Manual (Softwre section) contains spreadsheet templates for evaluating the
feasibility of any communications link, including the one you propose.


The transmission of non-coordinated radio messages into space, especially
when in conjunction with a commercial venture, goes against the letter as
well as the spirit of various international agreements, to which my
organization is signatory.

It is important that I point out to you that the proposed Encounter 2001
transmission is counter to well-established international convention. In
fact, it would appear to directly violate the SETI Verification and Reply
Protocols developed by the International Academy of Astronautics (see
<> and
<>. Inasmuch as The SETI League
has officially endorsed these policies (as have just about all credible
SETI organizations and searches in the world), I cannot in good conscience
provide you with any assistance, encouragement or support.

As a post-doc with his whole scientific career ahead of him, you would do
well to reconsider your personal involvement in so dubious a venture.

H. Paul Shuch

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
email work:; home:

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