Project: SETI Data Quest

Introduction

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is the collective name for scientific activities undertaken to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life. And one of these activities is ATA.

The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) is a Radio Interferometer that is dedicated to astronomical and simultaneous search for extra-terrestrial intelligence observations. It’s construction was a joint effort by the SETI Institute and the UC Berkeley Radio Astronomy Laboratory (RAL) with major funding from Paul Allen.

ATA collected the big set of data and this data should be processed and examined. SETI@Home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.

Problem

So anyone can participate in the space exploration just by running the screensaver. But maybe it should be an application or a web service, where people can openely participate.

The Setiquest data archive contains 4 TB of quadrature waveform samples of interesting targets that have been collected at the Allen Telescope Array. With this data we can build more interesting applications or services, where anyone can contribute their CPU power and see results of their contribution, not just data about consumed CPU/GPU power.

Or we can build software where people can help process ATA data, like the closed SetiLive.

Propose and describe a service or a product that can be built with SETI data. It can be a website with visualization of SETI data. Or it can be a data mining project. The only restriction is your imagination.

If you have coding skills and want to challenge yourself even more, you can make something interesting with SETI data and maybe we will find tracks of intelligent extraterrestrial life.

Output

Links and/or description for the software that uses ATA data.

Additional material

SETI data links

Data format

SETI@Home repository

Useful Resources

SETI Live

SETI Quest

Metadata

Theme: Coding

Skills: Programming, Software Architecture

Difficulty: ★★★★★

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2 comments

  1. I would like to share my idea how we can use Seti data and give volunteers opportunity to help.
    Honestly, my idea is more about entertainment but can give serious results.

    As introduction. When I was studying in the institute, my main research and degree work were about the processing of digital signals. One of the main goals of these research was searching useful signal in “noise”. Yep, my task was to get information that shouldn’t be in my hands ;-). And it’s similar with the SETI searches. For my degree work I using Two-dimensional Fourier Transform (2DFT) to find periods of multiplexing signals. We used 2DFT for various “possible” signals with various periods and it gave us very interesting results and pictures. We found multiplexing signals in some files that looked like noise stream.

    The main point of my story is what it was very funny (yes, funny) and interesting to experiment with various parameters of the transformations and examine results. And it’s hard to describe my enthusiasm when I find interesting “images” and patterns.

    So my idea is to give users to “play” with signals. Allow them change period and transform digital signals in 2D grids. Color signals and results will be looked more interesting. Give them tools like 2DFT or another transformation. My vision of the product is the sandbox where a user takes a signal file from SETI library, play with it with various tools and mark interesting results or patterns. These data can be used for more detailed examination of the marked signals and maybe we will find the real signals from the outer space.

    And with the modern technologies, we don’t even need servers for processing because it can be running in users’ browsers. We already have many tools and application for the awesome UI design and great visual effects. So this can be done. And it will be fun.

    Like

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