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Abstract 6

First Monochromatic and High-Resolution Pulsed Targeted Search Data from
The Columbus Optical SETI Observatory


The following abstract has been submitted to the Bioastronomy 99 committee for consideration:

The Columbus (Ohio) Optical SETI, or COSETI, Observatory has been promoting various forms of Optical SETI since 1990.  By the end of 1992, work was started on building a prototype observatory for both continuous wave and pulsed laser beacon Optical SETI.

The search and research emphasis has largely been given to the pulsed laser beacon form of Optical SETI.  The author was persuaded by Monte Ross that the use of very narrow pulses for free-space laser communications had significant advantages, not least because it avoids having to guess any so-called "magic" optical frequencies.   Recently, these advantages have been recognized by other research groups: Optical SETI has at last begun its move into mainstream SETI research, nearly four decades after it was first introduced to the scientific community by Schwartz and Townes.  During 1999, the observatory will be undergoing a major upgrade to its facilities and a new associated E-Commerce Web site will be launched.

This paper will report on the first targeted search data for monochromatic continuous wave SETI observations (anomalous spectral lines) using the COSETI Observatory’s new Ocean Optics PC2000 fiber optic spectrometer and PC based software.  This 2048 pixel spectrometer covers most of the visible spectrum with spectral resolution of about 1 nm.   In addition, the first data will be presented for pulsed SETI observations using a new EG&G solid-state single photon counter (SPCM-AQ).  This has a sub-nanosecond resolution and is over ten times better than the observatory’s previous PMT device.   The hardware and software required to process this data will also be described.


  • Paper 6
  • Notified on May 4, 1999, that the paper has been accepted for a Poster Session.

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