Observational SETI Today and Tomorrow: New Strategies and Instrumentation for SETI and Radio Astronomy
Jill Tarter



Today, a handful of groups are conducting searches for distant technological civilizations using radio and optical telescopes. This talk will summarize extant programs and forecast what is likely to be implemented in the next decade. The SETI Institute is the only organization studying the question of life beyond Earth; all life from microbial to intelligent forms of life. Since 2007, we have been using the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) to conduct a radio search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Our primary targets are the exoplanet candidates discovered by the Kepler spacecraft and groundbased observatories. We cover the entire 1-10 GHz range across the terrestrial microwave window and are utilizing the unique architecture of the ATA to discriminate against terrestrial interference and to increase the efficiency of the search. Thanks to a generous gift from Franklin Antonio, we are in the process of upgrading the feeds and receivers at the ATA to expand the frequency coverage and improve the detection sensitivity. We are also experimenting with new detection strategies and machine learning modalities to greatly expand the classes of signals to which we are sensitive. Throughout this decade our goal is to increase the number of systems we explore for engineered signals to a million or more while creating an innovative platform for traditional astronomical research.