Name: Avinash Kumar
Affiliation: Amity - UC Berkeley SETI
Conference ID : ASI2022_560
Title : SETI India: Using uGMRT to search for advanced extraterrestrial life
Authors : Avinash Kumar, Raghav Girgaonkar, Akshay E, Arun M, Vishal Gajjar, Siddharth Pandey
Abstract Type: Poster
Abstract Category : Instrumentation and Techniques
Abstract : The discovery of the ubiquity of habitable extrasolar planets, combined with revolutionary advances in instrumentation and observational capabilities, has ushered in a renaissance in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The Breakthrough Listen (BL) program is a US $100M 10-year effort to conduct the most sensitive, comprehensive, and intensive search for advanced life on other worlds ever performed. Large scale radio SETI activities are now underway at numerous observing facilities; but, there currently exists a dearth in continuous frequency coverage between 300 MHz and 1 GHz. Upgraded Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope's (uGMRT) capability of operation at these frequencies makes it a desired and complimentary instrument with ongoing SETI activities. In this talk, we will outline a new partnership between the BL program and the Amity Centre of Excellence in Astrobiology to start India's first large scale SETI program. We will discuss our ongoing efforts to capture the raw stream of data products from the uGMRT and conduct searches for novel signals likely to be produced by the activities of advanced ETIs. These signals include; (1) continuous-wave narrowband signal with spectral occupancy of < 1 Hz, (2) broadband transient signals with artificial dispersion, (3) signals with embedded wide-band modulations, and (4) anomalous astrophysical events. We will also discuss how we are leveraging advances offered by the modern-day graphical processing units (GPUs) and artificial intelligence for these searches. Furthermore, we will demonstrate that long baselines of GMRT provides band-limited spectral imaging and temporal window imaging capabilities which are useful to scrutinise the extraterrestrial origin of putative signals from ETI.