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Widening the Range of Search Strategies


Allen Tough




The scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence has recently expanded its array of search strategies. Currently, three major approaches are being pursued: radio SETI, optical SETI, and solar system SETI.  For 37 years, the SETI field relied primarily on a single strategy: radio telescopes seeking an artificial signal from many light-years away.  The second current approach is optical SETI: using optical telescopes to find a pulsed laser message or some other artificial signal from many light-years away. This approach has several advantages, and will be discussed extensively at this conference.  It is also covered thoroughly at Stuart Kingsley's www.coseti.org website.  The third current approach is solar system SETI. This is an effort to detect irrefutable scientific evidence of any highly advanced intelligence that has reached our planet or somewhere else in the solar system.  Extraterrestrial civilizations and their technology are likely thousands of years older and more advanced than ours.  Consequently, they could send a small super-smart autonomous robot probe to explore our planet and monitor our telecommunications.  To make contact with such a probe, about 80 SETI scientists and others have placed an invitation to ETI on the World Wide Web.



Optical SETI, radio SETI, SETI search strategies, astroengineering, Invitation to ETI, extraterrestrial contact.


  • The paper (author Web site)


Author Biography

Dr. Allen Tough is the founder and coordinator of the Invitation to ETI project, an innovative effort by more than 60 SETI scientists and artists to achieve contact with any form of extraterrestrial intelligence that has reached Earth.  He speaks at most international SETI conferences and serves on the international SETI Committee (IAA).  At the University of Toronto he taught about the long-term future for many years, and is now Professor Emeritus.


Author Affiliation

University of Toronto
16 Balaby Crescent
North York , ON M3C-2B7
Tel: 416-444-3135
Fax: 416-444-5538
Email: allentough@aol.com


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