The Berkeley SETI Program: SERENDIP III

Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 51 -- Instrumentation
Display presentation, Wednesday, 9:20-6:30, Pauley Room

[51.01] The Berkeley SETI Program: SERENDIP III

C. Donnelly, S. Bowyer, D. Werthimer, D. Ng, J. Cobb (SSL/UCB)

The Berkeley SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program, named SERENDIP, was begun in the late 1970's. It is aimed at detecting narrow band radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. The SERENDIP I, II and III systems have operated autonomously in a piggyback search mode, conducting unobtrusive, long-term observations on the world's largest radio telescopes. The latest generation SERENDIP instrument, SERENDIP III, is a four million channel FFT-based spectrum analyzer operating at 0.6 Hz resolution with a 1.7 second integration time. SERENDIP III has been operating at the NAIC Arecibo Observatory since April, 1992. Several independent criteria suggest that this search is the most sensitive SETI search in operation. To date SERENDIP III has accumulated over 3600 hours of high quality telescope time, observing 75\% of the sky visible by the Arecibo telescope. Over this period SERENDIP III has analyzed over 30 trillion spectral bins, and recorded information on 110 million strong narrow band signals in the 424--435 MHz band. A handful of these signals have survived our RFI rejection and signal detection algorithms, and have thus been added to our list of ETI candidate signals. A follow-up observation program will be conducted next year in an attempt to verify each of these candidate signals.

This work has been supported by NASA grant NAGW-2722.

Wednesday program listing