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Comparing Optical SETI Observing Projects

Optical SETI was born in 1961, when Charles Townes and Robert Schwartz first proposed the use of lasers for interstellar communication. Since then, over a dozen theoretical studies, and a handful of actual searches, have been conducted. Though long overshadowed by microwave searches, OSETI is emerging as a valid search strategy in its own right, owing to recent advances in photonics equipment and devices. The table below, though probably not complete, summarizes actual Optical SETI observing programs, past and current. It is based upon Lemarchand, Optical SETI Since 1960, Bioastronomy News 11(1):2, First Quarter 1999 (used by the gracious permission of the Planetary Society).

Year *ResearcherSignalsWavelength (nm)Telescope (m) TargetsObservatory
1973WischniaCW28013 starsCopernicus (Poland)
1973ShvartsmanPulsed5500.621 objectsSAO (Russia)
1978ShvartsmanPulsed550693 objectsSAO (Russia)
1986BetzCW10,0001.7nearby starsUC Berkeley (CA)
1990KingsleyPulsed5500.254nearby starsCOSETI (OH)
1995BeskinPulsed5506several objectsSAO (Russia)
1996Blair/ZadnikPulsed5500.64nearby starsPerth (Australia)
1996Sold'nPulsed5500.3nearby stars(Czech Republic)
1999WerthimerPulsed550-7000.76nearby starsLeuschner (CA)
1999MarcyCW5504 and 10nearby starsLick (CA) and Keck (HI)
1999HorowitzPulsed550-7001.55nearby starsHarvard/Smithsonian (MA)
1999BhathalPulsed5500.4 and 1.85nearby starsSydney (Australia)
1999Stone starsLick, UC Berkeley (CA)
2000WilkinsonPulsed5500.91nearby starsPrinceton (NJ)
2001LodderPulsed800-30001SN guidedArgus EM77to (KY)

* Current and ongoing searches indicated in Bold

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