THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI) IN THE OPTICAL SPECTRUM: A REVIEW
Stuart A. Kingsley
545 Northview Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43209-1051
Copyright: Tom McDonough
This paper suggests that the microwave rationale behind modern-day SETI lore is suspect, and that our search for electromagnetic signals from extraterrestrial technical civilizations may be doomed to failure because we are "tuned to the wrong frequencies". The old idea that lasers would be better for interstellar communications is revisited. That optical transmissions might be superior for CETI/SETI has generally been discounted by the community. Indeed, there is very little in the literature about the optical approach, as its efficacy was more or less dismissed by SETI researchers some twenty years ago. The main reason that the laser approach to SETI has been given a bad "press" is the assumption that ETIs lack the skills to target narrow optical beams into selected stars. This 'assumption of ineptitude', is shown to be erroneous, and calls into question some aspects of the rationale for Microwave SETI. The detectability of both continuous wave and pulse visible/infrared laser signals is described in some detail.