From an Email I recieved this morning
SETI@home needs your help. But before we tell you why - and how you can help - Dan and I would like to thank you for your role in the SETI@home success story.
We would first like to thank you for your participation in SETI@home. During the first SETI@home project you personally assisted us by searching for extraterrestrial signals in 80077 data chunks and providing 82.893 years of computing time. We want you to know we appreciate your efforts and the efforts of the other 5.4 million volunteers who have donated over 2.4 million years of processing time. When we started, people thought our projection of 100,000 users to be overly optimistic! You helped us prove that public participation in scientific computing could work. You also helped us to see that this type of community effort deserved to be more common. That’s why we developed the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing or BOINC. BOINC has the benefit of allowing our volunteers the option of sharing their processing power with other worthy projects in addition to SETI@home. These projects range from looking for gravitational waves to searching for cures to diseases.
But all these successes are just a beginning. As you are aware, SETI@home has successfully transitioned to operating under BOINC. Because of this, new searches are on the horizon for SETI@home. We are releasing a new version of our processing software that increases the sensitivity of our search by a factor of two or more. We are building and installing a new data recorder at Arecibo. This data recorder operates in conjunction with a newly installed receiver that has the capability to observe seven places on the sky simultaneously. It also increases our sensitivity by another factor of five. These increases in sensitivity mean that SETI@home will have capability of detecting signals that are three times more distant than we could before. The region of space we can search will expand by a factor of thirty. That’s thirty times the chance that your computer will detect that faint signal from another star.
This increase in capability isn’t without cost. Following the “dot com” bust, the commercial support that kept SETI@home running has largely disappeared. Because of this loss of support, we can no longer count on matching funds from the University of California. We are rapidly approaching the end of what funds we do have. We we will need to raise about $750,000 to pay for these new capabilities and to keep SETI@home operating for the next year. Without this support SETI@home may be forced to shut down.
We hope that you will consider making a donation to SETI@home. You can make a secure donation by credit card by clicking this link. Instructions for donation by check or money order are there as well. Unless you specify otherwise, your donation will be noted by a star icon next to your username on the SETI@home pages and your username will appear on our list of donors. If you do not wish to have this recognition you may indicate that as well. Please be assured that regardless of whether or not you choose to have your donation be anonymous, SETI@home will not share your address with other organizations.
You can check on our fundraising progress by visiting our main site at http://setiathome.berkeley.edu
Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Author and Futurist
Chief Scientist, SETI@home