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Intermittent signals and planetary days in SETI

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2020

Robert H. Gray
Affiliation:
Gray Consulting, 3071 Palmer Square, Chicago, IL60647, USA
Corresponding

Abstract

Interstellar signals might be intermittent for many reasons, such as targeted sequential transmissions, isotropic broadcasts that are not 'on' continuously or many other reasons. The time interval between such signals would be important, because searchers would need to observe for long enough to achieve an initial detection and possibly determine a period. This article suggests that: (1) the power requirements of interstellar transmissions could be reduced by orders of magnitude by strategies that would result in intermittent signals, (2) planetary rotation might constrain some transmissions to be intermittent and in some cases to have the period of the source planet, and (3) signals constrained by planetary rotation might often have a cadence in the range of 10–25 h, if the majority of planets in our Solar system are taken as a guide. Extended observations might be needed to detect intermittent signals and are rarely used in SETI but are feasible, and seem appropriate when observing large concentrations of stars or following up on good candidate signals.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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