Laser SETI is an audacious project to place specialized cameras around the globe to look for laser flashes from deep space. They have raised $53,000 of a $100,000 Indiegogo campaign. This is the first project ever to scan the *whole sky all the time* for signals from an extraterrestrial civilization.
Laser SETI makes this possible by using multiple, redundant, and inexpensive detectors, located strategically around the globe. And experiments of the past two years have shown that this technology works.
The Laser SETI campaign will fund the remaining development and the installation of two detectors in a fully operational observing campaign. This would be a prelude to large-scale production and deployment around the world. The two cameras will be enough to localize targets on the sky and examine the algorithms used in signal detection.
(H/T to Centauri Dreams)
Until now, SETI experiments (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), whether listening for a radio transmitter or searching for a high-powered laser, have assumed that ET is on-the-air all the time, so that wherever the instrument is pointed, the signal will be there.
Laser SETI is the first experiment to circumvent this assumption.
Laser SETI could find a very short ping from anywhere on the night sky. Indeed, it could detect a laser flash as short as a millisecond or less; and one that might not repeat for days, weeks, or even longer. Or ever.
Searching all-the-sky all-the-time is an essential capability when looking for intermittent signals. Radio experiments will someday be able to do that, but Laser SETI can do so right now–with your help.