A Panoramic All-sky All-time Near InfraRed and Optical Technosignature Finder

PANOSETI Description

PANOSETI is a novel optical and near-infrared (350 - 1650 nm) instrument designed to greatly enlarge the current Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) phase space. The Pulsed All-sky Near-infrared Optical SETI (PANOSETI) observatory will be a dedicated SETI facility that aims to increase sky area searched, wavelengths covered, number of stellar systems observed, and duration of time monitored. This observatory will offer an "all-observable-sky" optical and wide-field near-infrared pulsed technosignature and astrophysical transient search that is capable of surveying the entire northern hemisphere. The final implemented experiment will search for transient pulsed signals occurring between nanosecond to second time scales.


~10,000 square degrees of Instantaneous Field-of-view

Visible and Near-infrared coverage

High-speed infrared detectors working in coincidence

High-time resolution Astronomy

Conceptual video of a PANOSETI module (Video courtesy of Yannick Dusseault):

The PANOSETI experiment

Fast time resolutions (nano-seconds to seconds) have barely been explored and represents an observational limit with current ground and space-based facilities, especially since facilities are unable to represent large sky coverage with high duty cycles. Even with these limitations, new flavored transient sources are being found at shorter timescales (seconds), e.g., ASASSN-15lh. GRB afterglows can be observed for seconds to hours after the initial triggering event, but there have been no known observations that extend down to milli-seconds to seconds for rapid follow-up (hatched area). GRB 080319B, the brightest recorded GRB in 2008, resides above the y-axis at 10^(51) erg s-1. Stellar variability from cataclysmic variables, Cepheids, stellar ares are typically less than 1034 erg s-1. PANOSETI will be capable of exploring luminous transient and variable phenomena from nanoseconds to seconds (grey area).

The PANOSETI instrument

This instrument is aimed to search for technosignatures by means of detecting nano- to second light pulses that could have been emitted, for instance, for the purpose of interstellar communications or energy transfer. We present an instrument conceptual design based upon an assembly of 198 refracting 0.5-m telescopes tessellating two geodesic domes. This design produces a regular layout of hexagonal collecting apertures that optimizes the instrument footprint, aperture diameter, instrument sensitivity and total field-of-view coverage. We also present the optical performance of some Fresnel lenses envisaged to develop a dedicated panoramic SETI (PANOSETI) observatory that will dramatically increase sky-area searched (pi steradians per dome), wavelength range covered, number of stellar systems observed, interstellar space examined and duration of time monitored with respect to previous optical and near-infrared technosignature finders.

Innovative instrumentation

We will use multi-pixel photon counter (MPPC) detectors for optical (300 -850 nm) and near-infrared (850- 1650 nm) wavelengths. An MPPC is an array of independent Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes (APD), whose outputs are summed to a single terminal; this single pixel exhibits excellent pulse-height resolution, since each sub-pixel generates either a fully saturated pulse or is dormant. This program is a collaboration between UC San Diego, Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Caltech, and SETI Institute. Team Members: Shelley Wright (PI, UCSD), Dave Anderson (UC Berkeley), Franklin Antonio (Qualcomm), Michael Aronson (Electronic Packaging Man), Samuel Chaim-Weismann (Berkeley), Maren Cosens (UCSD), Frank Drake (SETI Institute), Paul Horowitz (Harvard), Andrew Howard (Caltech), Ryan Lee (Berkeley), Wei Liu (Berkeley), Jérôme Maire (UCSD), Rick Raffanti (Techne Instruments), Andrew Siemon (Berkeley), Remington Stone (Lick Observatory), Richard Treffers (Starman Systems), Avinash Uttamchandani (Harvard), Dan Werthimer (Berkeley, Space Sciences Laboratory) For more information on PANOSETI, please read our 2018 SPIE papers and 2020 SPIE papers.