Williamsport, PA.., 19 October 2001 -- The SETI League, Inc. today received two Technology Achievement Awards from the Central PA Chambers of Commerce, for its two current engineering projects. The nonprofit organization's Lunar Reflective Calibration Beacon for Radio Astronomy was awarded Second Place in the category "Best Application of Technology," and Array2k: Phasing Multiple Antennas for a Next-Generation Radio Telescope received Second Place for "New Technology Project," at today's Technology Awards Showcase luncheon in Williamsport. The two awards were accepted on behalf of The SETI League by its Executive Director, Dr. H. Paul Shuch. The former Pennsylvania College of Technology engineering professor heads up both projects.
The SETI League Moonbounce Beacon reflects microwave signals off the surface of the Moon. The resulting radio echoes are received by amateur radio operators (radio "hams") on Earth, and are used for testing Earth-based radio telescopes. Funded in part by a NASA Small Equipment Grant administered by the American Astronomical Society, the EME (for Earth-Moon-Earth) beacon enables amateur and professional radio astronomers alike to calibrate their receiving systems, by providing a stable reference signal emanating constantly from a known point in the sky.
The Array2k design, which combines sixteen or more standard satellite TV antennas into a single, powerful radio telescope, represents the next generation of astrophysical research tools. A prototype of the design is currently under construction on a residential hilltop in Cogan Station, PA.
"Central Pennsylvania is an ideal setting for radio astronomy," notes Shuch. "Our region is blessed with a low cost of living, good infrastructure, a sizeable pool of skilled workers, and one of the country's lowest levels of radio pollution. I moved here from Silicon Valley eleven years ago, so I could turn this place into the Valley of the Dishes," he quips.
It was in Northern California that Shuch developed the world's first commercial home satellite TV receiver in 1978. Eighteen years later, under Shuch's leadership, The SETI League, Inc. pioneered the use of backyard satellite TV dishes for radio astronomy, with the launch of its Project Argus all-sky survey. His design concepts have been embraced by other scientific organizations, including the prestigious SETI Institute in California.
SETI scientists seek to determine through microwave and optical measurements whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have been attempting to privatize the research. Experimenters interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, or citizens wishing to help support it, should email to join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at http://www.setileague.org/, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the electromagnetic Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
P.S. Tearsheets are always appreciated. Thank you.
entire website copyright © The SETI League, Inc.
this page last updated 30 November 2002
Top of Page