SO colloquium: A new digitized age of SETI – interferometric commensal observations and machine learning

The search for technosignatures - remotely observable indicators of advanced extraterrestrial life - addresses one of the most profound questions in science: are we alone in the universe as intelligent life? The Breakthrough Listen program is leading the most concerted search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) effort to-date through radio and optical surveys of nearby stars, nearby galaxies and the Milky Way galactic plane, thus representing the best chance the human race has ever had to detect a technosignature. Recently, Breakthrough Listen has partnered with the SETI Institute to develop commensal SETI capabilities on some of the most sensitive radio inteferometers, including the Very Large Array (VLA) and MeerKAT. Interferometric radio telescopes have the advantage of providing a larger field of view, maximizing the SETI survey speed. The VLA search will be operating alongside latter portions of the third epoch of the VLA Sky Survey (VLASS), allowing us to monitor over 1 million nearby stars within the next few years. Moreover, we are developing Machine Learning algorithms that will help reduce the number of false positives. A re-processing of the Green Bank archival SETI data revealed 8 signals-of-interest that were overlooked by previous analyses. In this talk, we will present the latest updates on these projects and conclude with a refreshed outlook on SETI using next generation telescope facilities and machine learning algorithms.           

02/11/2023 - 12:30
Dr. Cherry Ng
Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace , CNRS