Allen Telescope Array

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thnkrx

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Whats up with this? <br /><br />This is supposed to be *the* SETI radio telescope. Should be up and running full tilt by now, but when I went and checked their site, the papers got awfull thin after 2003. Something happen?
 
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serak_the_preparer

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ThnkrX, you're right; it's been slow going. The following was published by authors David R. DeBoer, William J. Welch, John Dreher, Jill Tarter, Leo Blitz, Michael Davis, Matt Fleming, Douglas Bock, Geoffrey Bower, John Lugten, Girmay-Keleta, Larry D'Addario, Gerry Harp, Rob Ackermann, Sander Weinreb, Greg Engargiola, Doug Thornton, and Niklas Wadefalk back in July of 2004:<br /><br /><i>The Allen Telescope Array is currently under construction, with the first three antennas in place and a schedule that calls for 33 antennas by Fall 2004, 206 antennas by the summer of 2006, and 350 antennas sometime later in the decade.</i><br /><br />- from The Allen Telescope Array (Experimental Astronomy) (pdf)<br /><br />The material above was pulled from the Allen Telescope Array Publications List, the best source for what's been happening at Hat Creek.
 
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thnkrx

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So...if they be on track, they should have 33+ antenna's up and running, with maybe 100+ by summers end. Even as of now, it sounds like a fairly ...impressive... device. But it don't really sound like they're making much use of what they have so far.
 
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serak_the_preparer

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ThnkrX, an update:<br /><br />Cranking Up the Allen Telescope Array by Seth Shostak (SETI Institute)<br /><br />October 6, 2005<br /><br /><i>In the patchwork of dry, cow-fouled ranch lands 250 miles northeast of San Francisco, an unusual crop is poking above the dusty shrubbery. Three dozen metal mushrooms have sprouted near the modest village of Hat Creek, and are turning their aluminum eyes skyward. These antennas, 20 feet in diameter and the height of a football goal post, are the vanguard of an eventual herd of 350 dishes, sprinkled over more than a half-mile of dirt and lava. They are the first installment of the Allen Telescope Array.<br /><br />By spring, 42 of these antennas will be working, and while this is scarcely more than 10% of the ATA’s final tally, even this partial sub-array can do interesting science. Beginning a few months from now, it will.<br /><br />The young ATA’s first foray into SETI will be known by the straightforward (if not overly galvanic) name of Inner Galactic Plane Survey...</i>
 
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serak_the_preparer

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There clearly is no fire. The Array was starting to make molasses look fast, but finally seems to be making some progress.<br /><br />Another update:<br /><br /><br />U.S. Naval Observatory to Participate in SETI’s Allen Telescope Array Effort by David Schlom (Space.com)<br /><br />16 August 2006<br /><br /><i>Following a recent demonstration of a 10-dish element of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA), the United States Navy has signed off on a $1.5 million agreement to use the array along with another 10-dish installation to be developed in the near future...<br /><br />When complete, the ATA will consist of 350 6.1-meter dishes. Twenty dishes are currently online at the observatory with a 42-dish array total to be completed near the end of the year. Though the project is slightly behind schedule due to the recent heavy northern California winter and the usual challenges of engineering a radical new technology, one of the project’s leaders is particularly pleased by recent progress...<br /><br />Representatives of the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) visited the array in mid-July when the instruments were undergoing initial testing and observations. They were interested in the observatory’s ability to monitor the ever-increasing amount of space debris found in Earth orbit....</i><br /><br /><br />Our operators are standing by by Kurt Kleiner (Toronto Star)<br /><br />Jul. 23, 2006<br /><br /><i>. . . In addition to the Oak Ridge Observatory telescope, the Allen Telescope Array this summer will begin an in-depth survey of the skies, listening for radio signals from a million different stars in a search that will take until at least 2025. By th</i>
 
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serak_the_preparer

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Not the best news:<br /><br />Search for alien signals stalls for want of cash (Nature)<br /><br /><i>Microsoft co-founder withholds millions from radio telescope...</i><br /><br />It appears construction of the array will not continue past the end of this year.<br /><br />The good news, however, as just posted to a related thread, is that the Square Kilometer Array - which is based on the ATA prototype - is moving forward. The operation at Hat Creek has helped to get SKA off the ground, so it has not all been for naught.<br /><br />Still, sad news all the same for SETI.
 
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Skylark

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Hi Serak, I don't have an online subscription to Nature, could you, please, cut-and-paste that article so I can read it? The funds aren't completely cut off, Allen wants to match other donations and that faucet is just dripping at the moment. I'm curious what Nature has to say about it. Thanks.
 
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owenander

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the government is pathetic, they take 10 years to do something private industry could do in 1.
 
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Kalstang

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>the government is pathetic, they take 10 years to do something private industry could do in 1.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />The government also has <b>alot</b> more to deal with then the private industry. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#ffff00"><p><font color="#3366ff">I have an answer for everything...you may not like the answer or it may not satisfy your curiosity..but it will still be an answer.</font> <br /><font color="#ff0000">"Imagination is more important then Knowledge" ~Albert Einstien~</font> <br /><font color="#cc99ff">Guns dont kill people. People kill people</font>.</p></font><p><font color="#ff6600">Solar System</font></p> </div>
 
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Skylark

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OwenAnder, your post wasn't clear. What is the government taking 10 years to do, that you believe private industry could do in 1?
 
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owenander

Guest
Everything takes 10x as long for the government to do and 10x the cost because every single politician takes a piece of the pie and has to add their 2 cents in a subject matter in which they know virtually nothing about.<br /><br />If you don't know that the government is inefficient get out of the basement =(
 
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serak_the_preparer

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<i>I don't have an online subscription to Nature, could you, please, cut-and-paste that article so I can read it?</i><br /><br />Found a link for you from MURC.ws forums:<br /><br />Search for alien signals stalls for want of cash by Geoff Brumfiel<br /><br /><i>The Allen Telescope Array will consist of 350 satellite dishes — if funds can be found.<br /><br />An ambitious radio array project that will join the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is running into money problems.<br /><br />Construction of the Allen Telescope Array, named after its chief benefactor, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen, will halt at the end of this year unless further funding is found. Allen is currently withholding millions because the project has failed to recruit other donors. <br /><br />"Down here in the trenches it's really terribly worrisome," says Jill Tarter, director of the privately funded SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, which is developing the project. <br /><br />The array, which is being built at Hat Creek Radio Observatory in California, was conceived in the late 1990s as a cheap way to search for extraterrestrial radio transmissions. For about $25 million, researchers believed they could build a radio telescope with 350 commercially available satellite dishes. The price went up to $43 million in 2003, when scientists decided to upgrade the dishes and other components, allowing the array to do radio astronomy as well as searching for alien signals. <br /><br />In 2000, Allen gave the project's research budget $11.5 million. He pledged $13.5 million more for construction in 2003 — but the money was contingent on the SETI Institute raising another $16 million in private funding (see Nature 428, 358; 2004). <br /><br />To date, the institute has raised less than $9 million. Allen is withholding $3.85 million until the institute can "meet its contractual obligations", says Jason Hunke</i>
 
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larper

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Owen, I completely agree with you.<br /><br />Now, what does this have to do with the ATA? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Vote </font><font color="#3366ff">Libertarian</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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revolutionary

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Someone tell Allen that I'll be happy to donate a $1000 once I can work it into my budget. They need to have a paypal donation button on the website.
 
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serak_the_preparer

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<i>Owen, I completely agree with you. <br /><br />Now, what does this have to do with the ATA?</i><br /><br />Nothing at all, as the Array is not a government project. Good point.<br /><br />The current hot topic in the news related to SETI, the discovery of Gliese 581 C, has got me looking for other SETI news. While out looking, I came across this:<br /><br />Status Report: Array of Hope by Seth Shostak (SETI Institute Science Radio)<br /><br />March 30, 2007<br /><br /><i>Although SETI experiments have not yet picked up a signal from another world, there's plenty of optimism among the scientists looking for ET's pings. That's because new telescopes, both radio and optical, will soon greatly speed up our cosmic reconnaissance. As example, the Allen Telescope Array, scheduled to begin observing this summer, will eventually accelerate the search by hundreds of times.<br /><br />Join us as we talk to SETI glitterati Frank Drake and Jill Tarter about their life-long efforts to find extraterrestrials. We'll also chat about the new Harvard optical SETI telescope, how we might converse with aliens, and join in a debate about, well, whether SETI is worth the effort. <br /><br />Guests <br /><br /><br />* Frank Drake - Senior Scientist, SETI Institute <br />* Jill Tarter - Director of SETI Research, SETI Institute <br />* Doug Vakoch - Director of Interstellar Message Composition, SETI Institute <br />* Ben Zuckerman - Professor of astronomy and physics, UCLA <br />* Dave Itzkoff - writer for New York Times Book Review <br />* Robert Sawyer - science fiction writer and author of Rollback <br />* Andrew Howard - optical SETI researcher, Harvard University physics department</i><br /><br />According to the above, 'this summer' is when we can expect the ATA to begin operation.
 
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