Posted by: Megan | October 16, 2008

Senior Project

I picked my senior project and adviser a few weeks ago, and since then have been working at making sense of just what I need to accomplish this year. Essentially, I am designing/building a detector to look for: Laser Beams from Aliens. :D  In science speak this is the Optical Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (OSETI).

The abstract for my project, if you’d like to know a few more details:

In the last decade OSETI, the Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has come to be seen as an attractive means of looking for signals from other intelligent lifeforms. The High Energy Astrophysics group is developing a new experiment for Optical SETI that we hope will exceed the performance of previous and current projects. Our approach will be to use a large Fresnel lens and small PMTs which will improve the overall signal-to-noise ratio. To obtain signals and differentiate between potential messages and other light pulses, we will need to build a detector that operates in the nanosecond range. The threshold for this device will need to be tuned so as to cut out background noise and light flashes associated with Cherenkov radiation due to high energy cosmic rays in the atmosphere.

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Responses

  1. Your formatting’s messed up! :-p


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