Optical search for extraterrestrial intelligence with air Cerenkov telescopes Academic Article uri icon


  • We propose using large Air Cerenkov telescopes (ACTs) to search for optical, pulsed signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Such dishes collect tens of photons from a nanosecond-scale pulse of isotropic equivalent power of tens of solar luminosities at a distance of 100 pc. The field of view for giant ACTs can be on the order of 10 square degrees, and they will be able to monitor 10-100 stars simultaneously for nanosecond pulses of about 6th magnitude or brighter. Using the Earth's diameter as a baseline, orbital motion of the planet could be detected by timing the pulse arrivals.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001