Optical search for extraterrestrial intelligence with air Cerenkov telescopes

David Eichler, Gregory Beskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We propose using large Air Cerenkov telescopes (ACTs) to search for optical, pulsed signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Such dishes collect tens of photons from a nanosecond-scale pulse of isotropic equivalent power of tens of solar luminosities at a distance of 100 pc. The field of view for giant ACTs can be on the order of 10 square degrees, and they will be able to monitor 10-100 stars simultaneously for nanosecond pulses of about 6th magnitude or brighter. Using the Earth's diameter as a baseline, orbital motion of the planet could be detected by timing the pulse arrivals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-493
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Communication
  • Instrumentation
  • Interstellar
  • Search for extraterrestrial intelligence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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