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Paper: Search Strategy for Detection of SETI Short Pulse Laser Signals
Volume: 213, Bioastronomy '99: A New Era in Bioastronomy
Page: 541
Authors: Ross, Monte
Abstract: During the early development of space laser communications, sponsored by NASA and the U.S. Air Force, it became evident that the optimum methods of modulation and detection were not necessarily the same as in RF and microwaves. It was postulated in 1965 and later shown that short pulses at low duty cycle with direct photon detection was a powerful approach to a laser communication link and led to more sensitive detection of weak signals in terms of bits per detected photon. Demonstrations of the concept were applied to a variety of classified and unclassified government projects. The efficiency of this short pulse low duty cycle approaches increases as the data rate of the system becomes less, and it became clear the short pulse approach might be especially useful for planetary and interstellar communications. This paper presents a philosophy of design that explains the search approach needed for interstellar communications. Given the reasonable assumption that one very large pulse laser transmitter would most likely send to a large number of candidate star systems, a complete search strategy follows logically which affects the receiver design and operation. This paper details out those receiver requirements and the optimum search strategy to detect short pulse optical SETI signals. It is shown how one receiving system may effectively cover many hundreds of candidate star systems each night and why there appears to be an optimum time to look at each star system.
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