interview with David Anderson

This interview was realized by Emilio González, Astroseti founder, exclusively to David Anderson, Seti@home project director, during his visit to Spain from 17/11 to 24/11 2003.

1 .- Recently there was a “reobservation campaign” of the most interesting signals at Arecibo. Have we found something interesting in the candidate signals ?

Not so far. We recorded data at both 2 bits/sample and 8 bits/sample, and recently finished analizing the 2-bit data. We found no signals matching the original “candidate”. The 8-bit data gives about 50% better sensitivity; we will analize it using BOINC. Also, the reobservation was based on the first 50% of Seti@home data- We still have to finish back end analysis of the second half, and then we’ll do another reobservation run.

4 .- Can Seti@home reach a point where it will have so many users that you won’t have enough units for them ? It’s not just because of increasing number of volunteers, but computers are also increasing their power

Yes. We’re responding to this in two ways. One is BOINC, which will allow S@H’s computing power to flow into other projects when we’re not recording data.

The other is our plan to record larger frequency bands, both using our new 16-channel data recorder, and also the future “tapeless” data distribution system, which BOINC makes possible.

5 .- It’s planned to use the Parkes telescope in Australia for Seti@home. Can you inform us about this project current situation ? Do you plan to use more telescopes ?

We finished building the data recorder several months ago. However, there are many other tasks - for example the client algorithm will be completly different. This is delayed while we move S@H to BOINC and finish it. By that time Arecibo may also have a multi-beam receiver, which will be much superior to Parkes in sensitivity. So we may stay at Arecibo for a while.

But eventually we hope to use Parkes, because of its sky coverage. And we’d like to visit Asutralia.

6 .- Seth Shostak, Seti Institute’s astronomer, said he expects to find a signal within the next 25 years. Are you so optimistic ?

It depends on what priority we (humans) give to it. Possibly ETI can only be found with space-based telescope. Will one be built ? I don’t know. My colleague Dan Werthimer thinks we’ll find ET in 50-100 years; I trust his intuition.

and so on, take a look

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Sir Ulli

Thanks for this Ulli. It’s great to see how the project is developing & evolving over time. :thumbsup: