The SETI League, Inc., a membership-supported, non-profit {501(c)(3)}, educational and scientific organization Searching for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence

The Very Small Array

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lyrics Copyright © 2002 by H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D.
sung to the tune of Rolling Down On Old Maui (traditional)

It's a damned hard life full of toil and strife
We amateurs must endure.
For all we do, we are subject to
Public ridicule, that's for sure.
Still I'd not complain, if we could gain
Our very own SETI array.
So I'm proud to say that the VSA
Will be ours 24 a day.


When we build the VSA, my lads,
When we build the VSA,
We'll do the search for life beyond earth
From the Very Small Array.

Well the VSA is a phased array
Of backyard satellite dishes.
Not a Cyclops, yet it's a likely bet
It would satisfy Barney's wishes.
We have learned to phase matched LNAs
On three pound coffee-can feeds.
Though it's small in size, you must realize
It is just what SETI needs.


The VSA, I am quick to say,
Is a modestly vast pursuit.
How can the SETI League fund it all
And not become destitute?
I can now report there's been great support
From NASA and ARRL.
Other donors may sign on any day,
But only time will tell.


The engineers knew just what to do,
Since we're most of us radio hams.
Technology that is almost free
Is sufficient to scan the bands.
Still I must confess that there might be less
Signal strength than we can see.
So I suppose the array just grows
'Til we finally find ET.

Final Chorus:

We have built the VSA, my lads,
We have built the VSA,
And now we search for life beyond earth
From the Very Small Array.

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this page last updated 23 November 2002
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