Could SETI@Home results yeild discoveries through further analysis?

Posted by
Chri on Jan 28, 2004 at 21:29

The following text is intended to show the reasons why I'd like to see a SETI software utility that can perform the following; share in a peer-to-peer manner - results of work units indexed by location in space, and, provide analysis of tightly focused areas in space for which results are available. This is a first draft release intended to generate feedback that will help focus and clarify my thoughts, statements and questions. Please advise of any errors or discrepencies. All comments and thoughts are welcome.

Suppose we wanted to send not only a sign that we exist but a picture of our solar system as well, to another solar system. We could put powerfull dish antenaes well spaced around our planet and transmit a continous wave at 1420Mhz from all of them then switching all of them to receive mode only on a precise periodic schedule. To the source of these emissions any reflected signals could be interpreted in a manner similiar to that of conventional RADAR. To the remote solar system that passively receives these signals it might look like a pulse or triplet between one or more small concentrations of spikes (SetiSpy display). Which raises the question, couldn't the emissions from some pulsars and binary stars be used the same way? Whatever the origin of any such similiar signals that have been received, it would seem to me that the mountain of processed work units now represented in result files could be used to map asteroids, comets and perhaps even other solar systems, .

Every work unit and result contains the information needed to accurately determine where in three dimensional space the telescope is looking through. If at one time of the year the telescope looks through an area of space that intersects with an area of space that has been observed at a different time of the year and there happens to be an object of some kind in that intersection then, information about that object or objects can be accurately determined.

A peer-to-peer file sharing and analysis program run as a client on many computers could pick out objects near and far by sending out a search request to all other clients for results obtained from observations of areas of space that have yeilded signal returns that at least initially show some promise. For an idea of what I think that might look like see: .

Having a standardized way for requesting WU results and sharing those results shouldn't interfere with the analysis being done by the SETI researchers themselves. Having such protocols would allow the mainstream WU crunchers to utilize their machines for searches that could compliment existing SETI analysis and at the same time allow specific analysis by inividuals or groups for such things as complex pulse profiles that might indicate intelligence.

Is there any one you know of that is working on a way for seti crunchers to share results with each ather through software that can request specific workunit results to perform more detailed analysis and have you ever heard anyone suggest that the processing task of correlating all those spikes, pules etc might require or benefit from a distinct branch of this distributed computing project. As well, I'd like to know of any group that saves copies of the results sent back and if they are planning any kind of further analysis on those results.

Amatuer and professional astronomers alike have a need for software that can be used to show the relative positions of planets and suns for any given time and location. Do you know of any that are available that can give an accurate description of the space seen by a telescope when given a time, location and viewing direction, as well as, allowing the user to add new objects?

Would you be interested in running a client package on your computer that uses the existing distributed processing already in place by the SETI@Home program or a client from some other party such as might be made available through the efforts of one or more of the larger SETI@Home teams?

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