Little Ferry, NJ.., December, 1999 -- The SETI League, Inc., nonprofit leaders in a grass-roots Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, have begun the design of Array2k, a new kind of radio telescope which will be taking shape over the next few years at a remote Northern New Jersey location. The name refers not to the new year, but rather to the instrument's more than 2000 square feet of collecting area. This is equivalent to a single dish antenna over fifty feet in diameter, at about a tenth the cost.
The Array2k design combines sixteen standard satellite TV antennas into a single, powerful radio telescope. The SETI League, Inc. pioneered the use of backyard satellite TV dishes for SETI research four years ago, with the launch of its Project Argus all-sky survey. The concept has been embraced by other scientific organizations, including the prestigious SETI Institute in California, which earlier this year announced its considerably more ambitious 1HT (One Hectare Telescope) project to combine 500 such dishes into a grand SETI array.
The SETI League's more modest design will be used to support the individual efforts of its 1100 members worldwide as a follow-up detection device to help confirm their observations. It will also be used for direct astronomical research, and serve as a test-bed for SETI League engineers to develop the technologies which will someday allow them to unite thousands of members' small, backyard telescopes into a huge, planetary array.
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.
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this page last updated 30 November 2002
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