SETI Institute Projects and Programs (Listed Chronologically)

PAH database website

The NASA Ames PAH IR Spectroscopic Database: PAH Spectroscopy at Your Fingertips

Monday, June 13 2011 - 2:06 pm, PDT
The goal of this project is to expand the content and capabilities of the NASA Ames PAH IR Spectroscopic Database ( that we have previously developed with NASA grant support.

Detection of Complex, Electromagnetic Markers of Technology

Monday, June 06 2011 - 2:13 pm, PDT
The proposed work seeks to extend the current capabilities of SETI searches for signals indicative of technology in remote locations. This is significant because current searches of this type simply look for carrier signals, the transmissions used to synch receivers with the coded information either on or adjacent to the carrier signal. The carrier signal detections would not necessarily contain any of the information transmitted. As such, a detection of a carrier signal only indicates the presence of technology, but little about the content of the transmission. The proposers seek to expand the SETI search toward the more complex transmissions that are superceding the use of carrier signals on Earth today.

The Allen Telescope Array: Science Operations

Monday, June 06 2011 - 11:09 am, PDT
Intellectual Merit The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) is a pioneering centimeter-wavelength radio telescope that will produce science that cannot be done with any other instrument. The ATA is the first radio telescope designed for commensal observing; it will simultaneously undertake the most comprehensive and sensitive SETI surveys ever done as well as the deepest and largest area continuum and spectroscopic surveys. The science of the ATA is enabled by a wide range of innovative technical developments. The astronomy decadal panel, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millenium, endorsed SETI and recognized the ATA (then, the 1 Hectare Telescope) as an important stepping-stone o the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), its highest ranked "moderate project" in radio astronomy.

Science Processing Support for NASA Discovery Program's Kepler Mission

Thursday, April 21 2011 - 4:14 pm, PDT
We seek to support the operation and evolution of the signal processing chain for the Kepler Mission throughout the entire lifecycle of the mission that ends in November 2013. The proposed work spans the full range of science processing from data collection on the spacecraft to publication of confirmed results.

Planetary Protection: Policy Development, Implementation Issues, and Societal Concerns

Wednesday, April 13 2011 - 5:00 pm, PDT
Our work will maintain a focus on planetary protection policies and implementation in the context of scientific exploration in the solar system, and will also examine and communicate about the implications of new and revised PP policy in response to future planned human missions and commercial space activities on the Moon and Mars.

Accurate Insights on Multiple Asteroid Systems: Shape, Bulk Density and Formation

Friday, February 11 2011 - 4:31 pm, PST
We will conduct a robust and consistent observing program to gather detailed information of a large sample of known multiple asteroid systems.

Formation of Solar and Extrasolar Giant Planets by Core-Nucleated Accretion

Wednesday, September 01 2010 - 2:27 pm, PDT
The objective of the proposed research is the improvement of the understanding of gas giant planet formation through the Core-Nucleated Accretion model, based on constraints derived from solar and extrasolar planet observations.

Dune Morphology and Atmospheric Models: Implications for Present-Day Martian Aeolian Activity

Monday, August 16 2010 - 3:56 pm, PDT
It has long been unclear whether the many sand dune fields on Mars are actively evolving in the present climatic era. Recent evidence of sand avalanching and active sustained saltation has been identified in high resolution images. In particular, we report the first clear indications of ripple migration over dark dune slopes observed from orbit. We propose a comprehensive study that will specifically address this knowledge gap, via the careful analysis of high-resolution spacecraft imagery over the majority of the planet (between 60° N and 60° S). In fact, even the preliminary investigation of a small sampling of such imagery has already yielded evidence of recent sand avalanching on dark dune slip faces and the first clear indications of ripple migration (superposed on the dark dunes) observed from orbit. Such morphological indications provide unprecedented details of sustained saltation on Mars. This newly found activity refutes the commonly held belief that dunes on Mars are inactive in the present-day wind regime. Such a provocative topic deserves immediate, detailed study to determine how current dune activity provides unique ground truth for today's weather patterns on Mars.

Ices and Organic Molecules in Space

Thursday, July 22 2010 - 2:16 pm, PDT
This program focuses on ice experiments for comparison to interstellar and Solar System objects, meteoritic organics, and interstellar dust particles (IDPs). We also are actively pursuing related observational and theoretical projects through collaborations with other scientists at NASA, universities, and non-profits.