Extraterrestrial Intelligence: An Observational Approach

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Science  03 Feb 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4328, pp. 485-492
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4328.485


The microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, a plausible regime for signals from extraterrestrial intelligences, is largely unexplored. With new technology, particularly in data processing and low-noise reception, surveys can be conducted over broad regions of frequency and space with existing antennas at flux densities plausible for interstellar signals. An all-sky, broad-band survey lasting perhaps 5 years can be structured so that even negative results would establish significant boundaries on the regime in which such signals may be found. The technology and techniques developed and much of the data acquired would be applicable to radio astronomy and deep-space communications.