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Acta Astronaut. 1992 Mar-Apr;26(3-4):189-92.

The SERENDIP piggyback SETI project.

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Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley 94270, USA.
U CA, Berkeley, Dept Astronomy


The SERENDIP project is an ongoing program of monitoring and processing broadband radio signals acquired by existing radio astronomy observatories. SERENDIP operates in a piggyback mode: it makes use of whatever observing plan (sequence of frequencies, sky coordinates, and polarizations) is under way at its host observatory. Moreover, the SERENDIP data acquisition system, once installed, operates autonomously. This approach makes it possible to obtain large amounts of high quality observing time in a manner that is economical and that does not adversely affect ongoing radio astronomy survey work. The SERENDIP II system has been installed at the NRAO 300-foot telescope at Green Bank, West Virginia, and has operated there for several thousand hours. In this report, we summarize our findings from these observations and describe the present status of the project. Two key elements of SERENDIP are the automated data acquisition system that uses adaptive thresholds and logs only statistically significant peaks in the real-time power spectra, and the subsequent off-line analysis programs that identify and reject a variety of interference signals. Several specific correlations have been identified that offer promise. At present, the development and testing of these interference rejection algorithms is the main thrust of our work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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