Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series


Presented by Chenoa Tremblay and Savin Shynu Varghese from the SETI Institute

In this talk, we will discuss the history of SETI and why this system is important, system design, flexibility, initial goals and the potential for other guest science projects proposed by the astronomy community.

The search for intelligence outside our solar system is 60 years old and we have recently moved the search from 1000 objects in a 5-year observational program to over 1 million objects per year. This is made possible thanks to the new Commensal Open-Source Multimode Interferometer Cluster or COSMIC backend system on the VLA. The COSMIC computer cluster receives a copy of the VLA data streams after digitization and we are utilizing an ethernet-based system to record, channelize, correlate and beamform the data. The initial goal of the system is to process data simultaneously along with VLA all-sky survey (VLASS) to complete the largest, most sensitive, search for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). However, the flexibility of the design will allow for other science goals to be achieved in the future and we will welcome requests from the community for potential use. Our system for ETI searches is designed to ingest the data at any observing frequency and search with time resolutions between 0.1 to 5 seconds and frequency resolutions between 0.2 and 10 Hz for signals of unknown origin. Any potentially interesting signals will trigger small chunks of voltage data to be dumped onto disk for further investigation.

2:00 pm, Thursday, February 9, 2023

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