Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Idea for SETI

Been a little bored lately, and ended up reading back towards the topic of SETI. Anyhow, instead of spending all the time looking for a strong analog carrier - they need to devise means of digital detection. A project to create "Digital Carrier Detection With Unknown Protocol". Limited use, but discovering that there is an actual digital signal where only noise was percieved earlier would be a big step forward. Who knows, aliens might even do a key within carrier protocol - making finding their signal much like cracking a DVD. But that can't be done until it's known that the carrier is actually there in the first place.

I suspect if there is any ETI out there with comparable tech to us, if he's using long-distance radio - he's on some form of spread spectrum. So what to do? Here's what I would propose:
1. Look for strong sources that were previously dismissed as white noise.
2. If the white noise from a common source is strongly limited to a band or band-gap-band, even better.
3. Determine if there is any synchronisity within the noise. That is if you can blow up the resolution of the noise - every little peak or valley lines up. This is likely to be the key to determining artifical behavior and observing the signal.
4. If above traits are apparent, run an ambient filter to narrow down signal to definite pops or clicks. This way all you have is a digital reference.
5. Run through methods to for digital signal analysis. Such as each frequency in the spectrum being a bit placeholder. Or perhaps as data running in parallel streams.
6. Try various methods to reverse analyze codecs. See if data exists and can be resolved into known types (audio, video, images, other misc. data types.)

Would be neat if someone bothered to analyze some strong "noise" sources to find out that the ETI has been chattering away all along. I'm sure some researchers would have a forehead slapping moment if this was indeed the case...

It'll probably be another generation before the analog addicts move on and SETI might actually have a chance to seriously do something like this. Well, that's it for today's random thought.

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