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Submitted Proposals

9308-004

  

The following are the descriptions for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposals on Optical SETI that were submitted in the summer of 1993.

  

9308-004a


National Science Foundation (NSF)

Title: Signal, Data Processing, Display and Storage for Optical SETI Observatories

  

Proposal Date: June 9, 1993

  

Duration: 6 months

  

Cost: $65,000

  

Description: This Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is to review and produce a design for a Windows-based (PC DOS Platform) signal processing system for use with a photon-counting receiver. The receiver is optimized for the detection of fast pulsed ETI beacon signals.

  

A complementary NASA proposal directed at the detection of continuous wave ETI signals has also been submitted (9308-004b).

  

Technical Abstract

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has primarily been conducted in the radio spectrum. This study addresses the instrumentation, signal and data processing, display, data reduction and storage for the first Optical (Visible) SETI Observatory in North America. This observatory, which will have a fast photon-counting receiver for detecting short laser pulses from extraterrestrial intelligences in other star systems, is one of only three such facilities on this planet today. The basic observatory system, i.e., telescope, photon-counter and remote control system, is expected to be complete by the latter part of 1993. The Windows-based EPOCH 2000™ astronomy program produced by Farpoint Research will be at the heart of the observatory system for automatically and remotely controlling the telescope. The project is partially applicable to conventional optical astronomy facilities and the Remote Telescope Network.

  

We propose to develop concepts for a Windows-based signal processing and data storage systems for detecting, analyzing, displaying and storing the signals obtained from the observatory's high-speed photon-counter. Windows based PC systems, object-oriented programming and virtual instruments are becoming increasingly important because of the ease of programming and adaptability, and these will be investigate for this application.

  

9308-004b


National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

Title: A High-Resolution Computerized Monochromator for Optical SETI Observatories

  

Proposal Date: July 23, 1993

  

Duration: 6 months

  

Cost: $70,000

  

Description: This Phase I SBIR is to review and produce a design for a Windows-based (PC DOS Platform) signal processing system for use with a direct-detection optical receiver. The receiver is optimized for the detection of continuous wave ETI beacon signals.

  

A complementary NSF proposal directed at the detection of pulsed ETI signals has also been submitted (9308-004a).

  

Technical Abstract

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has primarily been conducted in the radio spectrum. This study addresses Optical SETI and the instrumentation of a scanning monochromator system for detecting continuous wave (cw) beacon signals. This observatory is the first Visible SETI Observatory in North America, and is one of only three such facilities on this planet today. The basic prototype observatory system, i.e., telescope, photon-counter and computer control center, is presently being set up to detect fast ETI beacon pulses, and is expected to be largely completed by the end of 1993. The Windows-based EPOCH 2000 astronomy program will be at the heart of the observatory system for automatically and remotely controlling the telescope. The spectral transmission characteristics of the observatory's 25.4-cm (10") Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope will be measured over the visible and near-infrared. The basic design of a prototype observatory for cw beacon and signal detection will be undertaken, and recommendations made for hardware and software acquisitions. Consideration will be given to the signal processing, data reduction and data logging requirements of such an observatory, and its remote operation via modem.

 

  
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