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Instrument Technologies for the Detection of
Extraterrestrial Interstellar Robotic Probes


Scot L. Stride




In the continuing quest to detect evidence of ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in the galaxy, instrument technologies now exist that allow the formation of a scientific method to carry out a search for interstellar robotic probes of possible extraterrestrial origin.  The range of anticipated probe features that might be observed with sensors will be discussed, and how they will influence instrument selection, deployment and search strategy.  Autonomous instrument platforms (i.e., robotic observatories) to search for anomalous energy signatures can be designed and assembled using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) sensors, hardware and software.  The COTS solution allows the observational sensitivity, bandwidth and embedded computer processing speed necessary to establish a nearby ETI probe detection region of interest.  A survey of these instrument and sensor technologies will be presented and how they can be applied to the problem of collecting hard scientific data on visiting ETI robotic probes, if present.



Interstellar probes,  instruments, sensors, embedded computing, detection platforms.


  • The paper (author Web site)


Principal Author Biography

Mr. Stride is a Telecommunications/RF engineer employed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  His affiliation with JPL began in 1982.  Since then he has contributed to both ground systems (DSN) hardware and spacecraft telecommunications hardware for several missions including Galileo, NSCAT, QuikSCAT, DS1, Mars Pathfinder (rover and lander) and Mars 2001 rover.  In 1999 he participated in a joint JPL-Caltech study of a NASA interstellar probe mission to investigate in-situ the particles and waves of the interstellar media far beyond the heliopause to a distance up to ~400 AU.  His current responsibility is microwave amplifier development for the Pluto/Kuiper Express mission.


Principal Author Affiliation

NASA- Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology
4800 Oak Grove Dr.
M/S 161-213
Pasadena , CA 91109
Phone: 818-354-5980
Fax: 818-393-6875
Email: sstride@jpl.nasa.gov


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