New Search Strategies for SETI

SETI continues to embroider the search strategy pioneered by Frank Drake, a half-century ago. Although the technology of the search has enormously improved, are we being too conservative in our choice of targets? In this talk, we'll consider some of the other places we might look for ET.

Modeling the Effects of the Interstellar Medium on Engineered Signals of Extraterrestrial Origin

Dr. Blair will discuss the impairments that can be imposed on signals of technological origin traveling through the interstellar medium (ISM). The ISM contains ionized regions where fluctuations in the electron density have a significant effect on signals propagating through the medium.

How to Build Cost-Optimized Interstellar Beacons (and How to Search for Them)

How would we on Earth build galactic-scale Beacons to attract the attention of extraterrestrials? An optimum tradeoff emerges by minimizing the cost of producing power density at long range. James Benford will show scaling, examples and costs. If ETI were to build a cost-optimum interstellar Beacon, how should we look for it? Jim will propose SETI search strategies, a new test for SETI Beacons and describe how observers can differentiate Beacons from pulsars or other exotic sources.

Exploring Alternative SETI Search Algorithms with the ATA

 As a novel, many-element interferometer, the ATA supports radically different observing modes than any single-dish, yet performs very well in single-dish mode using beamformers. The cutting edge technology of ATA allows simultaneous data processing in 3 different modes: spectral imaging, ultra-high resolution single-point observing, and high speed data capture. The latter mode allows the application of any algorithm you can imagine on time-series data.

Deep Space Flight and Communications: SETI, KLT and Astronautics in a 2009 book

Dr. Maccone's new technical book about SETI, KLT and space missions to the Sun gravity focus will be presented in this talk. This 400-page book is entitled "Deep Space Flight and Communications", costs (unfortunately) over $100, and is divided into two parts: (1) The first 200 pages describe the astrophysics of light-bending caused by the mass of the Sun. Since the minimal focal distance turns out to lie in between 550 and 1000 AU, any future space mission to exploit this effect must necessarily be a "deep space mission".

The search for intelligent life in the Universe: some great challenges for SETI

The union of space telescopes and interstellar spaceships guarantees that if technological extraterrestrial civilizations were nearby or common, then someone would have come here long ago. Dr. Ben Zuckerman will discuss how construction of telescopes such as NASA's proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder enormously strengthens the force of arguments against the existence of nearby intelligent civilizations.

The Implications of the Law of Accelerating Returns for the Search for ETI

 The law of accelerating returns (which states that the key measures of information technology progress at an exponential not linear rate) has important implications for our interpretation of the Drake formula and the likelihood of finding ETI's in our light sphere. Ray Kurzweil will present this special lecture for the Singularity University ( and the SETI Institute. 

Convergent evolution of our own and extra-terrestrial intelligence

Convergent evolution is the phenomenon of two or more species of widely different origins evolving extremely similar features in response to the same environmental opportunity. Our intelligence and that of aliens with whom we might communicate are likely to have converged considerably and to converge further in the future. Much of this future convergence is likely to be artificial, i.e. electronic. Professor McCarthy will discuss some possibilities. 

Some Thoughts from an Anthropologist on Culture, Interstellar Communication, and the Construction of Interstellar Messages

“Culture” represents one of the most widely used, but often misunderstood, concepts when considering the nature of interactions and communications between different, and mutually alien, groups. Dr. Traphagan will discuss ways of conceptualizing culture from an anthropological perspective and apply his approach to thinking about both the process interstellar message creation and the interpretation of any transmission we might receive.


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