The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) attempts to address the possibility of the presence of technological civilizations beyond the Earth. Benefiting from high sensitivity, large sky coverage, and an innovative feed cabin for China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), we performed SETI's first observations with FAST's newly commissioned 19 beam receiver; we report preliminary results in this paper. Using the data stream produced by the SERENDIP VI real-time multibeam SETI spectrometer installed at FAST, as well as its off-line data processing pipelines, we identify and remove four kinds of radio frequency interference (RFI): zone, broadband, multibeam, and drifting, utilizing the Nebula SETI software pipeline combined with machine-learning algorithms. After RFI mitigation, the Nebula pipeline identifies and ranks interesting narrowband candidate ET signals, scoring candidates by the number of times candidate signals have been seen at roughly the same sky position and same frequency, signal strength, proximity to a nearby star or object of interest, along with several other scoring criteria. We show four example candidate groups that demonstrate this RFI mitigation and candidate selection. This preliminary testing on FAST data helps to validate our SETI instrumentation techniques as well as our data processing pipeline.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- March 2020
- Sky surveys;
- Astronomical instrumentation;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- 21 pages, 19 figures, 3 tables, published in ApJ