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EJASA - Part 1

                          THE ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF

                     Volume 3, Number 6 - January 1992


                              TABLE OF CONTENTS


           * ASA Membership and Article Submission Information

           * The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in
             the Optical Spectrum, Part A - Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley


                         ASA MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION

        The Electronic Journal of the Astronomical Society of the Atlantic
    (EJASA) is published monthly by the Astronomical Society of the
    Atlantic, Incorporated.  The ASA is a non-profit organization dedicated
    to the advancement of amateur and professional astronomy and space
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        ASA membership application is open to all with an interest in
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        Council - Jim Bitsko, Bill Black, Mike Burkhead, Bill Crane,
                  Toni Douglas, Ruth Greene, Larry Klaes, Tano Scigliano,
                  John Stauter, Gary Thompson, Bob Vickers


        Article submissions to the EJASA on astronomy and space exploration
    are most welcome.  Please send your on-line articles in ASCII format to
    Larry Klaes, EJASA Editor, at the following net addresses or the above
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        You may also use the above addresses for EJASA back issue requests,
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        When sending your article submissions, please be certain to include
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        DISCLAIMER -

        Submissions are welcome for consideration.  Articles submitted,
    unless otherwise stated, become the property of the Astronomical
    Society of the Atlantic, Inc.  Though the articles will not be used for
    profit, they are subject to editing, abridgment, and other changes.
    Copying or reprinting of the EJASA, in part or in whole, is encouraged,
    provided clear attribution is made to the Astronomical Society of the
    Atlantic, the Electronic Journal, and the author(s).  Opinions
    expressed in the EJASA are those of the authors' and not necessarily
    those of the ASA.  This Journal is Copyright (c) 1992 by the
    Astronomical Society of the Atlantic, Inc.

        Editor's Note -

        This January issue of EJASA is in six parts, and is devoted to the
    work of Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley on the subject of SETI in the Optical
    Spectrum.  While the concept of Optical SETI is not new, it has yet to
    receive the same attention as the surveys for signals from alien
    intelligences in the microwave spectrum.  It is the desire of
    Dr. Kingsley, that this paper will elevate the status of the optical
    approach to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

        Parts A, B and C deal with the general concepts of Optical SETI, in
    particular Professional Optical SETI.  Part D covers Amateur Optical
    SETI.  In that part, the basic design of an Amateur Optical SETI
    Observatory is described, and details given of its approximate cost.
    Part E contains the discussion and conclusions, and an extensive list
    of references.  Finally, Part F contains two Appendices, the first which
    give the theory and specimen calculations to support the case made for
    both Professional and Amateur Optical SETI, and the second which gives
    the Post-Detection SETI Protocols.

        This year will see considerable media attention given to Microwave
    (Conventional) SETI.  On Columbus Day, October 12, NASA's Microwave
    Observing Project, which is otherwise known by the acronym MOP, will be
    activated in the Northern Hemisphere at Puerto Rico's three hundred
    meter diameter Arecibo telescope (Targeted Search) and NASA's thirty
    four meter antenna at the Deep Space Network (DSN) in Goldstone,
    California (All Sky Survey).  Later, the seventy meter telescopes at
    Parkes and Tidbinbilla in Australia, and the thirty meter telescope at
    the Institute Argentino de Radioastronomia Villa Elisa in Argentina,
    will join the program for complementary observations in the Southern

        At this auspicious moment as we approach the five hundredth
    anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of the Americas,
    Dr. Kingsley brings to the public's attention the suggestion that we
    may not actually be tuned to the correct frequencies, so that the
    chances of discovering older, more mature extraterrestrial technical
    civilizations will be substantially impaired.


        While every care has been taken to ensure the theoretical correct-
    ness of this paper, inevitable mistakes will be found, particularly
    considering the size and complexity of this material.  The author
    wishes it to be known that he would like to hear about these errors.
    The COPYRIGHT NOTIFICATION page provides information as to how he may
    be contacted.

        The COPYRIGHT NOTIFICATION (Page iii) contains the version number
    for this issue of the EJASA.  If later, corrected versions are
    released, they will have a version number greater than 1.00.


        This six-part document should be downloaded from the educational/
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        In order to facilitate correct printing on both American Letter
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    symbols, e.g., ^L.  Readers are advised to bring each of the six docu-
    ments into their textprocessor and use a manual or automatic search and
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        It is recommended that after individually printing the six
    documents and combining the hardcopy, only the first four EJASA cover
    pages should be retained.  This mini-book on Optical SETI may then be
    bound together with consecutive pages running from the first four EJASA
    cover pages, the main title page, the front piece pages i to vi and
    pages 1 to 100.  The five other duplicate sets of EJASA cover and
    copyright pages may then be discarded, and the individual Parts A, B,
    C, D, E and F title pages.  The total number of printed or form-fed
    pages is 138.

        If you receive a copy of this document on a floppy disk or download
    the ASCII or compressed versions from a bulletin board, the six files
    may be simply sent to the printer from the DOS command line, without
    first bringing them into a textprocessor.

        If you have trouble receiving all six parts of this document due to
    limitations on the network gateways, the entire document is available
    for downloading from FIBERDYNE OPTOELECTRONICS BBS (614-258-1710) in
    individual text files: EJASAV3.N6A, EJASAV3.N6B, EJASAV3.N6C,
    EJASAV3.N6D, EJASAV3.N6E, and EJASAV3.N6F, and in a single compressed
    file.  Both the individual text files and the compressed file,
    EJASA306.ZIP, will be found in the Optical SETI Conference Area 2.  The
    compressed file may be decompressed with PKWARE's PKUNZIP (this DOS
    utility may be found in the Utility Conference Area 10).  The
    decompressed file will explode into a READ.ME file and the six
    individual text files, which may then be sent straight to the printer.
    The compressed file will also be available on CompuServe's Space and
    Astronomy Forums under the file name EJASA.ZIP.

                        IN THE OPTICAL SPECTRUM - PART A

                Optical SETI Revisited and the Amateur Approach


                             Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley

                            FIBERDYNE OPTOELECTRONICS
                               545 Northview Drive
                               Columbus, Ohio 43209
                                  United States


        About the Author -

        Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley, born in 1948, is an alien of the
    terrestrial kind (British), having lived most of his life in South
    Tottenham, London, England, where his mother still resides.  Stuart
    is single and still harbors a long-held desire to move to Hawaii or
    California.  Presently he is an Optoelectronics Consultant, a Senior
    Member of the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics
    Engineers (IEEE), and an Associate Member of the British Institution of
    Electrical Engineers (IEE).  Stuart Kingsley has a Bachelor of Science
    (B.Sc.) Honors degree and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Electrical
    and Electronic Engineering from The City University, London, and
    University College London, respectively.  In 1984 he shared the
    prestigious British Rank Prize for Optoelectronics with his former
    University College London thesis advisor, Professor D. E. N. Davies,
    who is now Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University, England.

        Dr. Kingsley arrived in the United States in 1981 to join Battelle
    Columbus Division and lead their activities in fiber-optic sensing,
    initially as a Principal Research Scientist and later as a Senior
    Research Scientist.  In 1987 he left Battelle and established himself
    as a photonics consultant.  The magnet that drew him to this country
    was the dynamic state of American technology during the Apollo Program,
    which coincided with his formative teenage years.  Indeed, for most of
    his life, Stuart has been "mad about astronomy and space", and once, in
    the late 1970s, volunteered to be a British Payload Specialist on the
    American Space Shuttle.  In the 1970s, Stuart was a member of his local
    Haringey Astronomical Society (patron Arthur C. Clarke), which was
    formed after a suggestion made by Patrick Moore to Arthur's brother,
    Fred Clarke.

        Soon after arriving in Columbus, Ohio, Stuart joined The Planetary
    Society (TPS) and the Space Studies Institute (SSI).  The only previous
    time that he has ventured professionally into the space and astronomy
    area was in the early 1980s, when he suggested the very speculative
    possibility that huge fiber-optic sensors (Sagnac Interferometers)
    with quantum amplifiers might be used to detect gravitational waves.
    In this present paper, Stuart is suggesting how we might "sense" ETI,
    with or without optical fibers - perhaps the ultimate optoelectronic
    (photonic) sensing and communications project.  Dr. Kingsley is
    presently a volunteer with the SETI Group at the Radio Observatory,
    Ohio State University and a member of the Columbus Astronomical Society
    (CAS).  Stuart's greatest concern today is that the nation has
    forgotten how to "dream" for a better tomorrow.

        As a point of information, the logo for Fiberdyne Optoelectronics
    normally shows a Mach-Zehnder interferometer containing a photon and
    a wave-packet, the latter illustrating the dual nature of light (for
    this text-based document, they have been replaced by "hf >> kT").
    Despite the STAR TREK style caption above the logo, which is more
    applicable to Dr. Kingsley's usual consulting activities, the
    suggestion made here is that extraterrestrial artificial optical
    photons may have been coming in Earth's direction for a long time,
    only that we humans have not been sophisticated enough to notice.


                         FIBERDYNE OPTOELECTRONICS BBS

        On Sunday, October 27, 1991, Fiberdyne Optoelectronics inaugurated
    a Bulletin Board System (BBS) whose main purpose is to promote
    activities for the Optical (Visible and Infrared) Search For Extra-
    terrestrial Intelligence, otherwise known as Optical SETI*, and
    Microwave (Conventional) SETI**.  It is intended that this BBS will
    advance the science of Optical SETI.  In addition, the aim is to use
    this bulletin board to coordinate future world-wide Amateur Optical
    (Visible and Near-Infrared) SETI endeavors.  This BBS is running
    Wildcat 3.0 and supports color ANSI menus.  It will be an open system,
    and there is no charge at this time for becoming a registered user.  If
    the bulletin board should prove to be very popular, a small charge will
    be instigated to fund the hardware acquisitions to support more modem

        This announcement also serves as a request to those professionally
    involved with SETI and with other forums listed below, to upload
    relevant files, messages, and news to the appropriate conference areas
    (forums).  This can be done by becoming a registered user and directly
    uploading files, sending text files via the national/international
    computer network systems to the E-mail addresses below, or by mailing
    us the material on any size of PC-compatible floppy disk.  Prior to
    registration, new users can only access Conference Areas 0 and 1.  The
    following is a list (subject to additions and change) of conference
    areas on this BBS:

     1.  Fiberdyne Optoelectronics       2.  Optical SETI*
     3.  SETI**                          4.  Astronomy
     5.  Space & Astronautics            6.  Electromagnetics & Health
     7.  Lighting & VDT flicker          8.  Electrical Engineering
     9.  Mathematics                    10.  Utilities
    11.  UFOs                           12.  TVRO & Intelsat Reception
    13.  Optoelectronics                14.  Fiber-Optic Communications
    15.  Fiber-Optic Sensing            16.  Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensing
    17.  PC Software Demos              18.  PC Hardware
    19.  Science Fiction                20.  Games
    21.  Reserved                       22.  Political
    23.  United Kingdom News            24.  Private
    25.  Private                        26.  Private
    27.  Private                        28.  Employment
    29.  Advertisements

                  |        Bulletin Board System (BBS)       |
                  |           Modem: (614) 258-1710          |
                  |  300/1200/2400/4800/9600 Baud, MNP, 8N1  |

        The voice/fax number is (614) 258-7402.  Manual fax machines can
    access our fax facility by sending the tone "33" anytime after the
    first telephone ring.  The answering machine gives instructions for fax
    and modem usage.


                            COPYRIGHT NOTIFICATION

        This document may be freely copied to other electronic bulletin
    boards, but only in an unmodified form and in its entirety, with the
    following copyright notice attached.  No license is given to reproduce
    this document in electronic or hardcopy form for profit.  However, the
    media may reproduce short extracts for the purposes of furthering the
    Optical SETI debate.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 * Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley                     Copyright (c), 1992          *
 * Consultant                                                              *
 * AMIEE, SMIEEE,                                                          *
 * The Planetary Society,                                                  *
 * Space Studies Institute,                                                *
 * Columbus Astronomical Society,                                          *
 * Volunteer, SETI Group, Ohio State.                                      *
 *                                                                         *
 *                                    "Where No Photon Has Gone Before &   *
 *                                   The Impossible Takes A Little Longer" *
 *                                                 __________              *
 * FIBERDYNE OPTOELECTRONICS                      /          \             *
 * 545 Northview Drive                        ---   hf >> kT   ---         *
 * Columbus, Ohio 43209                           \__________/             *
 * United States                                                           *
 * Tel/Fax: (614) 258-7402                 ..    ..    ..    ..    ..      *
 * Manual Fax Tone Access Code: 33        .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     *
 * Bulletin Board System (BBS):               ..    ..    ..    ..         *
 * Modem: (614) 258-1710,                                                  *
 * 300/1200/2400/4800/9600 Baud, MNP, 8N1.                                 *
 * Email: skingsle@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu                               *
 * CompuServe: 72376,3545                                                  *
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

   U.K. inquires may be made to the above U.S. address or:
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 * FIBERDYNE OPTOELECTRONICS                                               *
 * 43 Blenheim Avenue                                                      *
 * Gants Hill, Ilford                                                      *
 * Essex 1G2 6JQ                                                           *
 * England                                                                 *
 * Tel: (081) 518-1953                                                     *
 * Fax: (081) 518-2216                                                     *
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Version: 1.00
File: EJASAV3.N06




    Preface                                                           1

    Introduction                                                      9

    The Microwave Observing Project (MOP)                            11

    Assumption of Ineptitude                                         13

    Professional Optical SETI                                        14

    Project Cyclops                                                  18

    SETI Comparisons                                                 18

    Lasers                                                           29

    Fraunhofer Lines                                                 31

    The Optical Search                                               31

    Professional CO2 SETI                                            35

    Incoherent Optical SETI at 10,600 nm                             37

    Adaptive Telescope Technology                                    39

    The Columbus Telescope Project                                   40

    Optical SETI Rationale                                           40

    Amateur Optical SETI                                             42

    How to Build Your Own Amateur Optical SETI Observatory           47

    The Microwave and Optical Observing Project (MOOP)               52

    List of Previous and Present Optical SETI Activities             54

    Discussion                                                       56

    Conclusions                                                      58

    References                                                       64

    Appendix A - Theory and Specimen Calculations                    71

    Appendix B - The SETI Protocols                                  94

    Index                                                            98

    EJASA, Vol. 3, No. 6, January 1992



    Table 1   Project Cyclops comparison scenarios.                  19

    Table 2   Summary of SETI performance for (symmetrical)          22
              professional heterodyne communication systems
              over a range of 10 light years.

    Table 3   Important laser types and wavelengths.                 29

    Table 4   The most intense Fraunhofer lines from the Sun.        30

    Table 5   Nearest stars favored for MOP's 800 star Targeted      53


    Figure  1  Signpost SETI or pilot-tone system.                   10

    Figure  2  Coherent optical heterodyne receiver.                 15

    Figure  3  Spectral levels at a range of ten light years,        17
               per diffraction limited pixel.

    Figure  4  Spectral density and interstellar CNR for             28
               1 kW (SETI) signals at ten light years.

    Figure  5  The Microwave and Optical Cosmic Haystack             32
               frequency domains.

    Figure  6  Signal-to-noise ratio versus optical bandwidth        38
               for (perfect) photon-counting CO2 receivers.

    Figure  7  Incoherent (direct) detection optical receiver.       42

    Figure  8  Signal-to-noise ratio versus optical bandwidth        44
               (perfect) photon-counting 656 nm receivers.

    Figure  9  Basic Amateur Optical SETI or Poor Man's              48
               Optical SETI.

    Figure 10  Typical FOVs for a large optical telescope.           81

    Figure 11  Maximal Ratio Precombining.                           84


                               EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

        This paper shows that the rationale behind modern-day SETI (The
    Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) lore is suspect, and that our
    search of electromagnetic signals from extraterrestrial technical
    civilizations may be doomed to failure because we are "tuned to the
    wrong frequencies".  The old idea that optical transmissions would be
    better for interstellar communications is revisited.  That lasers might
    be better for interstellar communications has generally been discounted
    by the SETI community.  Indeed, there is very little in the SETI
    literature about the optical approach, as its efficacy was more or less
    dismissed by SETI researchers some twenty years ago.  This paper serves
    to reopen the debate.

        A powerful case is made that we have inherently assumed that ETIs
    are technical inept, so that they lack the prowess to send very narrow
    laser beams into nearby star systems.  This paper provides convincing
    theoretical proof that infrared or visible lasers would be preferred
    for such communication links.  Indeed, the author suggests that until
    a thorough search for ETI signals is done in the optical spectrum, we
    are unlikely to be able to say anything definitive about the
    probability or lack of probability of intelligent life in other parts
    of the Milky Way galaxy, particularly if the microwave search turns out
    to be negative.

        The author, Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley, also indicates that amateur
    optical astronomers should be able to construct their own Optical SETI
    Observatories.  Details are given of the equipment required and
    approximate costs.  He suggests that a coordinated Amateur Optical SETI
    activity could make a useful contribution to SETI research by
    conducting a low-sensitivity Targeted Search in the visible and near-
    infrared spectrum, in parallel with the Microwave Observing Project's
    Targeted Search of eight hundred selected stars.  Stuart Kingsley
    concludes his paper, by suggesting that while it is impossible to say
    that ETIs would not use interstellar microwave techniques to
    communicate with other technical civilizations, it is a mistake to
    ignore the strong possibility that optical communications are

        An extensive theoretical appendix is included to support the
    calculations for Professional and Amateur Optical SETI, and the
    conclusions drawn from these calculations.  For those interested in the
    procedures to follow after detection of an ETI signal, a copy of the
    Post-Detection SETI Protocols is also included.


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