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Images of the Week for 2002

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In London, member Simon Gornall has come up with a unique way to mount his Project Argus dish in bird-bath mode. The rest of Simon's station consists of the Radio Astronomy Supplies feedhorn and LNA, along with a WinRadio 1550e receiver.
Simon Gornall photo
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28 December 2002

Claudio Maccone, this year's Giordano Bruno Memorial Award winner, poses with his plaque in front of the Bruno monument in Rome. Dr. Maccone was the first Italian recipient of The SETI League's highest honor, named for the Italian monk burned at the stake in 1600 for expressing his belief in extraterrestrial life.

Other Bruno Award recipients are depicted here. SETI League members are reminded that nominations for the 2003 Bruno Award are due next week.

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21 December 2002

Yet another honor for SETI League members: Stelio Montebugnoli (left) and Claudio Maccone last month received the 2002 "Searching for Interstellar Communications" award from the Academia Italiani per la Ricersa Scientifica Distribuita (AIRSD). Dr. Montebugnoli's citation reads, "for having installed the SETI SERENDIP IV piggybacked with the 32 meters VLBI antenna and for having started the SETI research in Italy ... Real pioneer and great divulgator of the Italian SETI." Dr. Maccone's citation recognizes "his studies about the building of a radio-telescope in the Daedalus crater, on the far side of the Moon, about the use of the Sun, Alpha Centauri A-B-C and of the Barnard's Star as gravitational lenses, about interstellar relativistic flights and the use of KLT (Karhunen-Ločve Transform) for SETI's purposes."
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14 December 2002

The SETI League congratulates Dr. Allen Katz, K2UYH (seen here at SETICon02 last April) on being named recipient of the American Astronomical Society's Randolph Lovelace II Award. His citation reads: "This award recognizes your technical leadership and contribution to significantly increase satellite communications payload performance through the development of microwave linearizer technology." Allen wears several hats, as Professor of Engineering at The College of New Jersey, founder and President of Linearizer Technology, Inc., Staff Electronics Design Engineer for Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and EME Committee Chairman for The SETI League.
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7 December 2002

Last weekend in New York City, SETI League executive director Dr. H. Paul Shuch was among twenty radio pioneers inducted as Fellows of the Radio Club of America, the world's oldest radio communications society. Further details appear in this Press Release.
SETI League photo by Muriel Hykes
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30 November 2002

Dominique Faessler, HB9BBD, is marketing a new ultra-low-noise preamplifier for 1296 MHz EME. He promises next to develop a 1420 MHz version for amateur SETI use. Details appear on his website.
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23 November 2002

Dr. Leif Lsbrink, SM5BSZ, presented details of his LinRad Linux-based DSP program at the Prague EME Conference in August. Its waterfall display should be of interest to SETI League members. LinRad is free, and may be downloaded from Leif's website.
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16 November 2002

Clarence Vranish, N7DT, detected this strange phenomenon in a SETI@home data block. He writes, "I discovered a very distinctive signal trough, which I would interpret as frequency specific, doppler shift, signal attenuation, in one of my work units. It goes from the upper left corner to the middle third of the front axis. Calculating the frequency shift, it would appear to be traveling at 1/3C, a very possible occurrence in our galaxy. What the meaning of a signal trough would be except for the presence of a gravitational lens or some other phenomena, I'm not sure. "

Click here for other interesting SETI@home detections.

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9 November 2002

Winter has come early to Northern Pennsylvania this year, turning back to white dishes once painted green. This October 30th photo shows snow falling on still-turning leaves. Thus, all outdoor work on the Very Small Array is suspended until further notice, giving us time to work on the required Low Noise Amplifier design.
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2 November 2002

The SETI League congratulates SETI Institute astronomer Seth Shostak on being named a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Dr. Shostak is newly elected Chairman of the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group.

Click here for more photos from last week's 2002 World Space Congress.

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26 October 2002

Last weekend at the 2002 World Space Congress, we unveiled the new website for the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group, which The SETI League is pleased to host. Click on the logo to enter the iaaseti.org domain.
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19 October 2002

On 11 May 2002, SETI League volunteer Regional Coordinator Magin Casamitjana, EA3UM, appeared on Televisión de Barcelona, where he discussesd SETI League activities in Spain.
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12 October 2002

SETI Italia chief scientist Stelio Montebugnoli reports detection by the Medecina 32 meter radio telescope of an apparent water vapor maser at 22 GHz, from the vicinity of the Upsilon Andromedae system (home to three known exoplanets, one of which appears to be in the star's habitable zone). Principal investigator Cristiano Cosmovici made a preliminary announcement at last week's ESA exobiology workshop in Graz (Austria). Stelio reports being "very confident on the credibility of the detection." He and Cristiano are now scrambling to prepare a brief article to appear in Nature. Watch for it!
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5 October 2002

At last summer's Central States VHF Conference, Dr. Robert Suding W0LMD demonstrates how to modify a standard TVRO antenna for azimuth-elevation rotation. Details of his conversions are available on Robert's website.
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28 September 2002

Marc Franco, N2UO (formerly LU2DW) showed off this highly portable stressed parabolic dish at SETICon02. He uses it for 1296 MHz EME contacts. It is based upon a design by Allen Katz, K2UYH, presented at that same Conference.
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21 September 2002

The phasing matrix for the Very Small Array begins to take shape on the bench. These bias tees and power dividers/combiners will produce four different beam patterns simultaneously, in two orthoginal circular polarizations, from the eight-dish phased array.
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14 September 2002

This waterfall display produced by Project Argus participant Tom Hutter shows the W2ETI Moonbounce Beacon, received both directly (vertical line), and reflected off the lunar surface (diagonal due to Doppler shift). Note that the ever-decreasing echo frequency starts off higher than the transmitted frequency, ends up lower, and that the two are exactly equal when the moon transits the receive station's zenith.. Follow this link to more of Tom's received moonbounce signals.
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7 September 2002

At last month's Central States VHF Conference in Milwaukee WI, treasurer Bruce Richardson presents SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuch with a check representing the Society's annual contribution to SETI League technical projects. The Central States VHF Society has been a generous SETI League supporter since the two organizations became affiliated in 1998.
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31 August 2002

Nine SETI League members, including two Regional Coordinators, one Commitee Chairman, and our Executive Director, were among the more than 100 radio amateurs to gather in Prague last week for the 10th International Amateur Radio Moonbounce Conference. More EME Conference photos are available here.
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24 August 2002

Former SETI League New Zealand coordinator Wayne Thresher (below) and his son David (above) recently visited Australia, to help Noel Welstead, our regional coordinator for Eastern Australia, set up this equipment container at the Boonah Space Centre site. The container will soon hold the equipment for a SETI station. For more information about the Boonah project, follow this link.
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17 August 2002

After four years of effort, Guido Nigro, our volunteer Regional Coordinator for Western Australia, finally has this 9 meter dish operational at Golden Grove Observatory, 60 km from Perth, with a Down East Microwave LNA and a crystal-controlled 1420 MHz receiver. Its wheels and concrete track make it partially steerable, with 360 degree azimuth range, and elevation rotation from zenith down 35 to 40 degrees. The dish was used in Carnarvon during the 60's, and in 1988 was transported to the Perth Observatory, where it was never used due to lack of funding. Guido obtained the antenna for SETI use in 1998. Seen working on the dish are volunteers Brian Sallur and Dr. Micheal Handly.
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10 August 2002

The Flag of Earth flies proudly from the first dish of the Very Small Array. It underscores the global nature of The SETI League, the VSA, and the entire SETI enterprise.
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3 August 2002

Bertrand Pinel, F5PL (left), receives The SETI League's W2ETI Moonbounce Beacon with this seven-meter dish. He has also been highly successful at radio astronomy in the 1296 MHz amateur radio band. At right is the late Walter "Hoppy" Hopkins, N6BQ, who was long a prominent force in 1296 MHz amateur moonbounce activity.
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27 July 2002

SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuch, promoting his book Tune In The Universe! at last February's Tropical Hamboree hamfest in Miami FL. Dr. Shuch's contributed royalties have over the years raised several thousand dollars for the nonprofit SETI League.
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20 July 2002

Argonaut Tom Hutter is receiving our 1296 MHz moonbounce beacon via the direct path (vertical line). The diagonal line in the same display would seem to correspond to a Doppler-shifted echo off the lunar surface, except for two minor details: the slope suggests a Doppler rate too high (corresponding to a relative velocity too great) for the Moon's relative motion, and at the time this image was taken, Hutter's antenna was pointed straight up, while the Moon was low on his eastern horizon! After thoroughly checking our moonbounce transmitter for spurious emissions, we concluded that Tom was seeing the beacon transmission bounced off an aircraft transiting the congested New York City area airspace. Though a shorter path than moonbounce, aircraft bounce appears to be yet another useful way to test your SETI system.
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13 July 2002

One feature which the newer SETI@home client software seeks out is pulse doublets and triplets. Here we see a regular pulse triplet (that is, three similar pulses, all evenly spaced in time), highlighted by the white index marks in red in the Data Analysis window (upper left hand corner).

More interesting SETI@home detections are found here.

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6 July 2002

At the Istituto di Radioastonomia of the CNR (National Council of Research) near Bologna Italy, SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuch visits the 32-meter dish, with Cassegrain optics and a 3-meter subreflector, which is used for SETI Italia's SERENDIP project. This antenna, constructed in 1983, is part of the European VLBI Network. Its cryogenic receivers operate in multiple frequency bands between 327 MHz and 43 GHz.

See more SETI Italia photos here.

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29 June 2002

This twenty-year-old photo shows the W5UN moonbounce antenna (see last week's featured photo) pointed North, toward Cassiopeia A. That particular detection was SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuch's personal introduction to radio astronomy. "Cas-A was not only clearly audible," recalls Shuch, "but managed to move the meter two full S-units."
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22 June 2002

It's said that everything grows bigger in Texas. This archival photo from the early 1980s shows Dave Blaschke, W5UN, climbing his legendary 2-meter moonbounce array (at the time, the world's largest amateur EME antenna). The fully steerable array of 32 24-element Yagis was used for both moonbounce and radio astronomy. It was later replaced by an even larger array of 48 long Yagis.
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15 June 2002

VSA Progress Report: This past week, we mounted offset feedhorn-support tripods on the reflectors. As these dishes are designed for non-blocked apertures, the feed points appear significantly off-center. Click here for more Very Small Array photos.
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8 June 2002

Sadly, the remnants of a fine antenna reside below the branches of this fallen tree. Project Argus pioneer Daniel Fox writes: "Due to a storm last weekend a large tree has disabled my 5 meter dish. Since it is going to be down for a while and now has several large worn areas in the reflector, I'm going to need to resurface the reflector. I remember some discussion some time back about this. What was the name of the conductive paint used for resurfacing the dish?" If you remember, please email Dan.
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1 June 2002

Dr. SETI (otherwise known as SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuch) signing books at last month's Jersey DevilCon2 science fiction convention, where he was Science Guest of Honor.
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25 May 2002

Step by step and dish by dish, the Very Small Array (VSA) slowly takes shape at Project Argus station FN11lh. For more information about this SETI League initiative, follow this link.
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18 May 2002

Those of you who missed last month's SETICon02 Technical Symposium will want to obtain a copy of Proceedings of SETICon02: a collection of papers submitted for The SETI League's 2002 Technical Symposium, published by the Americal Radio Relay League (ISBN 0-87259-866-7).

Suggested Contribution: $20 postpaid in US, $25 postpaid elsewhere. Order here.

SETI League photo
Proceedings 02

11 May 2002

Steven Carver (left) and Claudio Maccone (right) received the 2002 Orville N. Greene Service Award and Giordano Bruno Memorial Award, respectively, at our second annual Awards Banquet, last week in Trenton NJ. They are seen here with SETI League president Richard Factor (center). For further details about their contributions to the SETI League, please see this Press Release.
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4 May 2002

The first of eight dishes for the Very Small Array is now planted in VSA Grove. Click here to follow the progress of this SETI League project.
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27 April 2002

No, these eight holes in executive director Dr. H. Paul Shuch's back yard were not dug by an alien race of giant gophers. Rather, they are the start of the Very Small Array (VSA), an Array2k prototype. Click here to follow the progress of this SETI League project.
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20 April 2002

This Spectra Plus frequency-domain screen very clearly shows the W2ETI EME beacon, received by Argonaut Tom Hutter via both the direct and the lunar reflective paths, at nearly equal amplitude. Click here to see more of Tom's moonbounce beacon detection images.
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13 April 2002

Project Argus participant Tom Hutter discovered this decomissioned ten-foot dish outside of a New Jersey business, found out that the owner was willing to part with it for $100, and posted the information to The SETI League's ARGUS email discussion list. Just another example of Argonauts helping their fellow members.
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6 April 2002

Last week, F5PL received our W2ETI 1296 MHz moonbounce beacon at Castlenaudry, in Southeast France. His station consists of a home-built 7 meter parabolic dish antenna on an automatized tracking system with 0.5 degree angular accuracy, F1EHN tracking software, a W2IMU feed at the focus of this dish, and an ATF 10136 GaAs FET preamp with a noise figure of about 0.8 dB. Our beacon is clearly visible as a steady carrier from 0000 UTC to 0001 UTC, followed by thirty seconds of Morse Code ID (the broken line). The slope of the trace clearly shows the EME signal's characteristic 25 Hz/minute Doppler signature. The continuous vertical trace seen at the right of the screen is a test signal from an HP synthesized signal generator locked to a rubidium clock (its slope shows the slight frequency drift of Bertrand's receiver). We figure the average Project Argus station will receive our EME echoes about six dB weaker -- faint, but still detectable.
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30 March 2002

The noted nuclear physicist Dr. Edward Teller, now 94 years of age, has long been a friend to SETI. He has collaborated with nearly every prominent 20th century physicist. In his Memoirs, published last October, he reminisces about Alvarez, Bethe, Bohr, Einstein, Fermi, Feynman, Gamow, Heisenberg, Lawrence, Mayer, Morrison, Oppenheimer, Pauli, Seaborg, Szilard, von Karman, Von Neumann, Wheeler, Wigner, and countless other prominent scientists. Last week he signed a copy of his book for executive director H. Paul Shuch, who notes, "I revere Dr. Teller's intellect every bit as much as I respectfully disagree with his politics."
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23 March 2002

The SETI League was well represented at last week's EuroSETI1 Congress in the Republic of San Marino. Front row (l-r): Marko Cebokli, our volunteer regional coordinator for Slovenia; Allen Tough, Volcor for Central Canada; Claudio Maccone, from Italy; and Jenny Bailey, VolCor for England. Back row (l-r): executive director H. Paul Shuch; Peter Wright, VolCor for Germany; Angelika Gherke, vice-president of the European Radio Astronomy Club; and Bernie Wright, from England.
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16 March 2002

Student Ben Wakes (at 83, our oldest Scholarship Member) ably mans the SETI League booth at the Tropical Hamboree hamfest, last month in Miami.
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9 March 2002

Steven J. Grey, KC4NOL, of WIOD radio in Miami FL, interviews SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuch, during a remote broadcast from the recent Tropical Hamboree hamfest.
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2 March 2002

Tom Hutter has the distinction of being our first member to detect The SETI League's 1296 MHz moonbounce calibration beacon with a Project Argus radio telescope. Newly returned to service at the 150 watt level, the W2ETI beacon provides a stable, continuously available microwave signal, reflected off the surface of the Moon, to verify the proper operation of our receiving stations. See www.setileague.org/eme for further details.
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23 February 2002

David HM Spector, W2DHM, is building Project Argus station FN30hv at his home on Long Island, NY. You may read about his progress on his personal website. Further photos of David's radio telescope appear here.
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16 February 2002

This QST Cover Plaque was recently awarded to The SETI League's executive director. The inscription reads, "Voted best article from the November 2001 QST was '2001: A Moonbounce Odyssey' by Dr. H. Paul Shuch, N6TX." The article describes the design, construction, and operation of The SETI League's 1296 MHz calibration beacon.

For Dr. Shuch's perspective on this honor, see this Editorial.

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9 February 2002

Russ Tillman has recently completed this most impressive building as future home to Project Argus station EM42oj, now under construction. In setting a new standard for SETI, K5NRK's station includes a daughter and a dog (Blair and Sherbert, respectively).
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2 February 2002

The SETI League is pleased to schedule Dr. Steven J. Dick as Keynote Speaker for our upcoming SETICon Technical Symposium. Dr. Dick, an astronomer and historian of science at the US Naval Observatory, is a longtime SETI proponent and author of several books on astrobiology. He will be speaking on "SETI and the Post-Biological Universe" on Friday, 26 April 2002, in Trenton NJ. His biographical sketch appears here.
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26 January 2002

We are proud to announce the selection of Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe as Banquet Speaker for The SETI League's Second Annual Awards Banquet, being held on April 27th, in conjunction with the SETICon02 Technical Symposium. A pioneer in the emerging field of astrobiology, Prof. Wickramasinghe will speak on "Why Alien Intelligence May Not Be So Alien." See this press release for further details.
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19 January 2002

This unusual SETI@home detection shows a repeating pulse of immense amplitude and consistent regularity. Such signals are generally due to strong terrestrial interference, and are reminiscent of the high-altitude military aircraft "discovered" by Frank Drake during Project Ozma in 1960.
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12 January 2002

Shipments of executive director H. Paul Shuch's long-awaited hypertext book Tune In The Universe! (ISBN 0-87259-854-3) began on 18 December 2001. Details about this interactive CD-ROM, published by the American Radio Relay League, appear in this Press Release.

Suggested Contribution: $25 postpaid in US, $30 postpaid elsewhere. Order your copy here.

Sue Fagan image (ARRL)
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5 January 2002

Click here for lots more pictures.


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