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SCI/TECH: Microsoft's Paul Allen Donates Additional $13.5 Million to SETI

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posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 08:36 PM
Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen announced Friday that he as donating another $13.5 million to the development of the Allen Telescope Array in Northern California. The radio telescope array will be used by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and the University of California-Berkeley to search for signs of alien life in the universe.

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen has donated $13.5 million (7.3 million pounds) to help fund the search for extraterrestrial life.
The California-based SETI Institute, which is dedicated to the search for life beyond Earth, said the donation from Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, would be used to create a radio telescope array of more than 200 satellite dishes that will measure signals from space.

Allen has previously donated $11.5 million and this newest donation will bring the project almost halfway to their goal of $56 million. Without Allen’s contributions the SETI project would have been finished years ago. NASA quit funding SETI in the early 90’s. Allen funded an initial test of a 3-dish array in California for proof that the technology would work, and he is an avid believer that this is a worthwhile project.

After completion, the array will consist of 350 dishes, which act as one giant dish to collect signals from space. A group of 32 dishes will be operational this fall, and the number will increase to 205 within 3 years. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2009.

Additional Sources:
SETI Institute
Allen Telescope Array General Overview

ATS Discussions:
Paul Allen Funds Next Stage of SETI Project

[Edited on 22-3-2004 by dbates]

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 09:25 PM
Excellent, great news.

I hope that SETI puts the new funds to great use.

And more importantly, I hope they find something!

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:22 PM
The Very Large Array only has 27 dishes. VLA
350 dishes!
I wonder what kind of dish size that equates to?
I can just imagine what kind of manpower that would take though. I guess there's probably some kind of plan in place that would pay for the upkeep and operation.

posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 11:28 PM
Nevermind, I found it. verview/technical.html

"This number of antennas yields approximately one hectare (10,000 m2) of geometric collecting area."

So exactly how big is that?

posted on Mar, 22 2004 @ 03:18 PM
If that little m stands for meters, then it is 10 square kilometers. That is big.

If they did manage to find something, what makes you think that they would go public with the finds? Even if they wanted to do that, would the government let them?

posted on Mar, 22 2004 @ 03:23 PM

Originally posted by TJ11240...If they did manage to find something, what makes you think that they would go public with the finds? Even if they wanted to do that, would the government let them?

There are protocols in existance to cover this very possibility, extract below:

"Recognizing that any initial detection may be incomplete or ambiguous and thus require careful examination as well as confirmation, and that it is essential to maintain the highest standards of scientific responsibility and credibility,

Agree to observe the following principles for disseminating information about the detection of extraterrestrial intelligence:

Any individual, public or private research institution, or governmental agency that believes it has detected a signal from or other evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence (the discoverer) should seek to verify that the most plausible explanation for the evidence is the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence rather than some other natural phenomenon or anthropogenic phenomenon before making any public announcement. If the evidence cannot be confirmed as indicating the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, the discoverer may disseminate the information as appropriate to the discovery of any unknown phenomenon. ...."

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