Report on Cosmic Call 1999
Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics Russian Academy of Science
Dr. Sergey P. Ignatov
Institute of Space Device Engineering Russian Space Agency
Prof. Alexander L. Zaitsev
This Report outlines methodology, hard- and software, which were developed to transmit first public Interstellar messages from Evpatoria Deep Space Center (EDSC), and describes four Cosmic Call Sessions, which were fulfilled in EDSC on May 24 and June 30 – July 1, 1999.
TABLE 1. Target Stars
|PMRA, arcsec/yr||0.06561||– 0.14775||– 0.18607||0.68332||– 0.39407|
|LY * PMRA||4.48s||– 10.42s||– 11.72s||35.40s||– 22.70s|
|RA + LY * PMRA||19h08m01.80s||19h41m38.53s||20h02m22.43s||20h04m12.81s||20h03m43.53s|
|PMDec, arcsec/yr||– 0.30446||– 0.15885||– 0.58207||– 0.52406||– 0.40642|
|LY * PMDec||– 20.79||– 11.20s||– 36.67||– 27.15s||– 23.41|
|Dec + LY * PMDec||+16d50m51.44s||+50d31m19.01s||+15d34m58.84s||+29d53m21.36s||+17d03m49.23s|
The lines [RA + LY * PMRA] and [Dec + LY * PMDec] denote the actual values of Right Ascension (RA) and Declination (Dec), which are accounting the distance LY and proper motion PM, and which were used for computations of elevation and zenith angle of given star during its tracking by Evpatoria antenna.
According with Specification, for Cosmic Call we have used the 70-m fully steerable parabolic antenna and power transmitter, which are usually using for planetary and asteroid radar researches, with the following parameters:
The Encounter 2001 Mission (www.teamencounter.com) consists of two elements: The Cosmic Call and The Millennial Voyage. The first one represents the series of interstellar transmissions to the stars, which have the similar spectral type as Sun and probably, the own planetary system. The selection of this stars is mainly base on the SETI Institute target list (Yvan Dutil, e-mail communication on 5 Jun 99):
Central Frequency – 5010.024 MHz
Antenna’s Diameter – 70 m
Effective Aperture – 2500 m2
Continuous Power – 150 kW
Left Circular Polarization.
Each Cosmic Call consists of two parts. Part I is the selected Earth’s knowledge for Extraterrestrial, and Part II contains the names and personal messages of Encounter 2001 participants. Regarding Part I, we have a total of 4 messages, to include in it:
1. Dutil Message,
2. Braastad Message,
3. Arecibo Message, and
4. Encounter 2001 Staff Message.
For explanation of message’s content please visit www.teamencounter.com. Each above messages are the binary [“0” & “1”] streams of information, separated to each other by 5 second pauses. As a result, we have the ternary situation: [“0”, “1”, and “pause”], so need to use the ternary modulation to transmit the Cosmic Call. We have used the frequency modulation for this purpose, as more suitable for reliability of power klystron transmitter and for more antijamming, than amplitude one.
The EDSC hardware was upgraded to introduce the frequency modulation mode. The coherent frequency synthesizer Ch 6-36, controlled by personal computer via custom-built interface, was used. Also, the special device to exercise of power klystrons, was developed.
The software for gathering all messages and creating the Cosmic Call stream, was written on C language. Here is the screen’s view of control personal computer monitor during “on-line” generation of Cosmic Call stream:
|Start of Session|
|Encounter 2001 Staff Message|
|End of Session|
The Part I was transmitted three times at a rate 100 bits per second, and the Part II – only once at a rate 2000 bits per second.
Cosmic Call Sessions
The first Cosmic Call was transmitted on May 24, 1999, to the target number 2 – star HD 186408. Three other transmissions were made during the night June 30 – July 1. Table 2 contains an information about all four Cosmic Call Sessions.
TABLE 2. Cosmic Call Sessions
|Target Star||HD 186408||HD 178428||HD 190406||HD 190360|
|Date||24 May 1999||30 June 1999||30 June – 1 July||1 July 1999|
|UT of Start||16:20:00||16:45:00||21:10:00||01:22:00|
|Transmitted Power, kW||148||152||152||152|
|UT of Finish||20:15:03||20:40:15||01:05:02||05:17:01|
Transmission Rates: 100 Hz for Part I and 2000 Hz for Part II. Frequency Deviation: +/- 24 kHz (“pause” = 5010024 kHz, “0”= 5010000 kHz, “1” = 5010048 kHz), both for Part I and II.
The most difficult problem, which occurs during long (few hours) transmission is a short life of power klystrons. At present we have only one reserve klystron, unfortunately, so plan to develop special device to regenerate the cathodes of defect klystrons. Also, hard- and software are needed in some modifications in order to increase theirs flexibility and reliability before next Cosmic Calls.
ONE-DIMENSIONAL RADIO MESSAGE FOR “BLIND” ALIENS
Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics
Vedensky Square 1, 141120 Fryazino, Russia
Both previous radio messages for aliens, Arecibo 1974 and Evpatoria 1999 (see http://ebe.allwebco.com/Science for details) were the logical ones and represented the binary stream of FM information, which should be arranged into two-dimensional forms to perceive by eye-like sense-organ. And I guess the primary one-dimensional message is more understandable by unfamiliar aliens and the music is the most universal expression of intellectual activity by means of one-channel ear-like radio link. Further, the Theremin instrument is the most preferable for interstellar transmission since Theremin produces quasi-sinusoidal narrow-band signals with continuous phase under performance, which are more easy for extraction from noise. So, I suggest to implement the 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens from Arecibo or Evpatoria Radar facility. The Theremin virtuoso Lidia Kavina agrees to give such Concert with appropriate classic and cosmic repertoire either in on-line mode at observatory’s concert-hall or off-line Concert in audio studio. The Theremin’s signal lies at about (0-10) kHz, and it should be shifted by SSB mixer to radar band and transmitted into space toward any star cluster or Sun-like star.
THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL JUSTIFICATION
Giordano Bruno, whose theories of the infinite universe and the multiplicity of worlds anticipated modern science, was brought to the Campo de’ Fiori, his tongue in a gag, and burned alive. The modern gag is the Item 8 of IAA Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence: “No response to a signal or other evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence should be sent until appropriate international consultations have taken place”. But this IAA document forbids the future response as a reaction on definite detection and I suggest the present broadcast for proposed aliens before hypothetical message is received.
There were four Messages from Earth to proposed aliens — two material (Pioneer Plaque and Voyager Record) and two ethereal (Arecibo-1974 and Evpatoria-1999). Both Arecibo and Evpatoria messages were the logical ones and represented the radiosignals, frequency manipulated by binary stream of information, which could be understandable after error-free extraction of this binary stream in whole, conjecture that it is the production of two prime numbers, and an ability to conceive two-dimensional images. However I propose not a discrete two-tone radio signal but a more native continuous one, in which smooth frequency variations directly transfer one-dimensional emotional information. I am talking about music, which is more universally comprehensible than language, and about theremin, which is an electronic non-contact musical instrument.
Theremin consists of a box with analog ICs producing oscillations at two sound-wave frequencies above the range of hearing (100-500 kHz); together, they produce a lower audible frequency equal to the difference in their rates of vibration. Pitch is controlled by smoothly moving the hand toward or away from an antenna at the right side of the box. Theremin produces a quasi-sinusoidal signal with smooth frequency variations without phase breaking, therefore such signals have the high delectability across interstellar distances. To transmit, the theremin’s signals should be up-shifted by SSB (single side band) mixer without any additional modulation or manipulation into radar S-band and directed toward the selected target star cluster or Sun-like star with its own planetary system.
The theremin approach for constructing messages for aliens provides direct implementation and does not need any postulates in order to create a sophisticated and disputably cosmic language to inform Them about our emotional world. It is clear, the theremin has a moderate emotional impact and it is not a symphonic orchestra, but the Arecibo picture with 1679 black-and-white squares is not a color oil-painting, either.
The theremin was invented 80 years ago, in 1920 by Leon Theremin. Theremin’s daughter Natalia Theremin and grand-niece Lidia Kavina are well-known theremin performers (you may visit The Theremin Word Home Page at http://www.thereminworld.com for further information). Natalia and (or) Lidia are ready to visit Arecibo or Evpatoria and give an on-line theremin concert for aliens. Also, off-line Concert in studio and audio cassette with its tape recorder are acceptable. Of course, any American or European theremin virtuoso are welcome, too. The concert playbill would include both classical and cosmic repertoire, as well as the specially composed music. Appropriately, this instrument was used in the soundtracks of several science fiction films. And before this concerto I would make the presentation “The Logical and Emotional Messages from Earth”.
TIME AND EQUIPMENT CONSIDERATIONS
The observing time needed to carry out the program depends on tracking duration of selected target by fixed Arecibo antenna. Anyway this time is equal or less than 2.5 hours. The user-provided special equipment which would be brought to the Observatory is the theremin.
The auxiliary Observatory equipment needed for the project are the special real-time hardware and software which should periodically (I guess, not faster than each 0.1 sec) determine the theremin’s current frequency and replace it on stable continuous signal from DDS (direct digital synthesizer) in order to provide the coherent radar transmission, which would be easily detectable across interstellar distances.
The SETI Unknown Paradox.doc
Alexander Zaitsev(Submitted on 29 Nov 2006)
Two opposing tendencies paradoxically coexist in terrestrial consciousness — the insistent quest for intelligent signals from other civilizations and the persistent aversion to any attempts to transmit such signals from Earth toward probable fellow intelligent beings. If typical for our entire Universe, such manifestations of intelligence would make the search for other civilizations totally meaningless
1. IntroductionSearching the Internet for the wordcombination “SETI Paradox” yields twoseparate and interrelated groups of results –SETI and Fermi Paradox. Here, we focuson the “SETI Paradox” – on this incomprehensiblehope of finding extraterrestrialintelligence while keeping almost absolutelysilent. However, nothing but naturalobjects can be found in a Universe wherethere are only “searchers” and no “senders”.Of the three components of the classicaltriad “Universe, Life, Mind” thatShklovskii (1962) introduced into scientificand public use, we can now say nothingdefinite about mind and its possible varietyor, on the contrary, sameness. We can onlyformulate various hypotheses, like, for example,Arthur C. Clarke, who said: “…it isalmost evident that biological intelligenceis a low form of intelligence. We are at theearly stage of the evolution of intelligence,but at the late stage of the evolution of life.True intelligence is unlikely to be living.”The planetary consciousness of theEarth may well be unique and so may bethe planetary consciousness of each extraterrestrialcivilization. And all planetaryconsciousnesses in their global, maturemanifestations – both internal and external– may well be dismally monotonous, andthis very fact may explain the Great Silence– because a passive/receive-only attitudetoward the Cosmos is perhaps everybody’s,and not just our, feature – every-body tries to receive and nobody is willingto give…We suggest introducing – in additionto such common terms as ETI = ExtraterrestrialIntelligence and SETI = Search forETI – a new term, METI = Messaging toETI, which we use to designate the fundamentallynew type of human activities –transmission of messages to hypotheticalfellow intelligent beings. Some may arguethat SETI is also a new type of activity. Ofcourse, it is a new one, but not fundamentallynew – mankind has always been lookinginto the sky in the hope of findingsomething there. And as for transmitting toprobable ETI and doing this purposefully –this type of activity is now only at its firststages (Zaitsev, Chafer, Braastad, 2005)and it is by no means clear whether it hasany future at all…Shvartsman writes in his already classicpaper, “Search for Extraterrestrial Civilization– A Problem of Astrophysics or ofthe Entire Culture?” (1986):”…we do not know for the sake ofwhat transmissions are to be made…”and“…science is an activity aimed at acquiringnew knowledge about the world.However, the interstellar messages are byno means meant to obtain new knowledgeby those who transmit them (message andreply are typically several thousand yearsapart).”Indeed, why should we transmit amessage to Others? It is more or less clearwhy we should search for the messages ofOthers. But why transmit? What for? Indeed,Shvartsman pointed out that this willgive us no new knowledge. We must try tounderstand “…for the sake of what thesetransmissions are to be made…” – eitherby us or by ETIs…2. Universality of consciousness?How universal is consciousness? Sofar we have been lacking relevant experimentaldata. Only a single measurement –terrestrial realization of consciousness – isavailable. The aim of SETI is to try to findout whether consciousness is universal ornot. A full description of the Universe asdiscussed by Linde (2003) –“Is it possible that consciousness, likespace-time, has its own intrinsic degrees offreedom and that neglecting these will leadto a description of the universe that is fundamentallyincomplete?” –is so far impossible to achieve – we donot know how to fit consciousness into thedescription of the Universe – as somethingunique, or as a universal phenomenon.And it is not inconceivable that no onein the entire Universe knows this – theUniverse is silent and even if there areother lone centers of consciousness somewhereelse (Grinspoon 2003), THEIRphysicists should face the same problem – how to fit consciousness into the descriptionof the Universe – as a singular or auniversal phenomenon. In this sense, thetask of METI is to try to answer the questionwhether consciousness is universal –and this answer is to be meant for OTHERS…Similarly, the Participatory AnthropicPrinciple (PAP) formulated by JohnWheeler in 1983 – “Observers are necessaryto bring the Universe into being” – isincomplete in the sense that the Universethat we now observe is a Silent Universe, aUniverse of observers, whereas true participationin the scene of the Universe cannotbe limited to mere contemplation.One can speak about true “participation”when this “participation” becomesOBSERVABLE by a distant observer.Wheeler’s Participatory Anthropic Principleshould therefore be supplemented bythe following statement:“Senders are necessary to bring consciousnessinto the Universe”.So, the participation of senders wouldtransform the observer’s consciousness ofthe Universe into a consciousness that recognizesa Universe that is inhabited by atleast two, separate intelligences (e.g., twocivilizations). In turn, this transformationof the observer’s consciousness would itselfrepresent a contribution to existence.In other words, from an ontological perspective,senders would help observers betterunderstand the true nature of being (assuming,of course, that the Universe is inhabited),and, in the process, change thevery nature of being, i.e., into a state wherethe existence of extraterrestrial life is confirmed.3. The Drake equation with theMETI coefficientThe classic Drake equation is theproduct of seven parameters that estimatethe number of potentially detectable extraterrestrialcivilizations in our Galaxy:N = R* × fp × ne × fl × fi × fc × L,where N = the number of potentially detectablecivilizations in the Milky WayGalaxy; R* = the rate of formation of starsin the Galaxy; fp = the fraction of thosestars with planetary systems; ne = the numberof planets per solar system that aresuitable for life; fl = the fraction of thoseplanets where life actually appears; fi = thefraction of life sites where intelligence develops;fc = the fraction of communicativeplanets (those on which electromagneticcommunications technology develops); L =the “lifetime” over which such civilizationstransmit detectable signals into space.This equation takes into account manyfactors, but not all. Namely, it leaves outthe fraction of emitting “intelligent planets,”i.e., planets that are, like our Earth, in the communicative phase of their existence,and at the same time “bring” consciousnessinto the Universe by purposefullytransmitting intelligent signals to theoutside world. Estimation of this fraction isby no means just a question of idle curiositygiven the attitude of our planetary consciousnesstoward such “bringing.”Here we are speaking about METIphobia.It appeared immediately after thefirst interstellar radio message had beensent from Arecibo on November 16, 1974.Nobel Laureate Martin Ryle then publisheda protest where he warned: “…any creaturesout there may be malevolent or hungry…”and called for an international banto be imposed on any attempts to establishContact and transmit messages from theEarth to hypothetical ETIs.The International Academy of Astronautics(IAA) then adopted a Declaration(1989) calling for the restriction of suchactivities. Thus, paragraph 8 of this Declarationstates: “No response to a signal orother evidence of extraterrestrial intelligenceshould be sent until appropriate internationalconsultations have taken place.The procedures for such consultations willbe the subject of a separate agreement, declarationor arrangement.”Six years later, the SETI PermanentStudy Group of the IAA presented a DraftDeclaration (1995), which envisages that adecision on whether or not to send an interstellarmessage should be approved by theUnited Nations General Assembly. Someresearches operate with concepts of“peaceful civilization” and “aggressivecivilization” and suggest that we shouldreply only to signals coming from a peacefulcivilization – an attitude that would ultimatelyresult in the total refusal to emitany signal at all. The reason: a messagefrom a peaceful extraterrestrial civilizationto which we are allowed to answer is impossibleto distinguish from a messagefrom an aggressive, but self-coding civilization,to which we should not reply. Andgiven that we will be hardly able to developan undoubted criterion to judge thealtruism of the extraterrestrial civilizationthat would satisfy all those who fear thepossible negative consequences of communicating,it would also be impossible tonot only initiate, but even reply to interstellarmessages. Our civilization would bedoomed to eternal silence.Unlike the English-language press,which has been discussing METI-phobiacontinuously, articles on this subject appearrarely in the Russian media. One ofthe most recent international campaignsinvolves a series of articles posted on thesite of the SETI League and the adoptionof the so-called “San Marino Scale” at theconference “We and SETI” held in SanMarino in 2005. This scale, like the Richterscale for earthquakes, is meant to rank in-terstellar radio messages to ETI by the degreeof risk. However, the Richter scaleassesses real earthquakes that have alreadyhappened, whereas the San Marino scaleassesses hypothetical, far-fetched consequences.In this context, of particular interestis the opinion of such fears and bansexpressed by Paul Shuch, the SETILeague’s Executive Director: In 1998 hegave the following answer to our Internetpoll, which we conducted during the periodleading up to the Cosmic Call 1999 interstellarradio transmission: “I am not an adherentof such isolationist (read paranoid)philosophy”.Our understanding of this problemstems from certain “double standards” (notin the common, negative meaning of thisword combination): People fear that Somethingsuperpowerful and aggressive – suchas the evil empires found in such modern,mythological/science fiction tales as the“Star Wars” serials – are either alreadyaware of us, or will inevitably becomeaware of us. In this view, there is no escapefrom this fate. They will find us, firstand foremost, by radio emission of dozensof military radars of USA and Russia,which are at the core of the national missileattack warning systems, which have beenoperating continuously 24 hours a daysince the early 1970s (Morozov 2005). Wemust press forward Contact with all conceivablecivilizations like our own, whichbeing located far apart, may interact onlyby transmitting and receiving electromagneticsignals. And moreover, to be detected,we must emit targeted and guidedmessages toward the chosen celestial body.However, we must take METI-phobiaof extraterrestrial civilizations into accountbecause of the current realities in Earth’scivilization. To this end, the Drake equationshould supplemented by the METIcoefficientfm (Zaitsev 2005):N = R* × fp × ne × fl × fi × fc × fm × L,where fm – the fraction of communicativecivilizations (METI-civilizations), i.e.,civilizations with clearly nonparanoidalplanetary consciousness, which indeedproduce planned and targeted interstellarmessages. As mentioned above, to be in acommunicative phase and emit METI messagesis not the same thing. For example,we, although being in a communicativephase, are not a communicative civilization:We do not practice such activities asthe purposeful and regular transmission ofinterstellar messages.We may try to estimate the METIcoefficientfm for the only known, terrestrialcivilization. As we pointed out above,our civilization is indeed in the communicativephase and it indeed conducts SETIactivities. However, our METI/SETI ratiois less then one percent: these data follow from the review of Jill Tarter published inthe recently released “SETI-2020” collectionof papers (Tarter 2003). It lists 100various SETI programs starting from thefirst OZMA project to our time. The totaltime of search is several years, whereas thetotal transmission time is only 37 hours(Zaitsev 2006). This characterizes the attitudeof researches. However, we must alsotake into account the METI-phobia inherentto the planetary consciousness as awhole. And therefore if we assess the fmcoefficient based on the only known civilization(and we are hardly peculiar if we arenot alone), we find that it tends to zero and,consequently, the same should be true forthe number of potentially detectable extraterrestrialcivilizations. Hence, the SETIParadox: “Searching is meaningless if noone feels the need to transmit…”In other words: “SETI makes senseonly in a Universe with such propertiesthat it develops Intelligence that realizesthe need not only to conduct searches, butalso to transmit intelligent signals to otherhypothetical sites of self-consciousness”.It would become possible to establishContact if one of the distinguishing featuresof Intelligence in our Universe is themissionary need to carry to Aliens theGood News that they are not alone inspace. Given such enormous distances and,consequently, long signal propagationtime, communications should be mostlyone-way – our addressees receive our messages,and we, in turn, detect those whohave chosen us as their addressees. This ishow the Universe at a certain stage of itsdevelopment appears for observers as inhabitable.Otherwise, centers of intelligenceare doomed to remain lonely, unobservedcivilizations.And in conclusion, let us return to thebeginning and give the classic quotationfrom the paper by Cocconi and Morrison(1959): “The probability of success is difficultto estimate, but if we never search thechance of success is zero”.The above argument is, of course,true. However, accidental detection as aresult of routine astronomical observationsis also possible. However, this may happenonly if there exist extraterrestrial civilizationsthat actually send interstellar messages.Therefore, in this context the aboveargument may be somewhat reformulated:“The probability of success is difficult toestimate, but if nobody transmits thechance of success is zero in principle”.And we can formulate the followingthesis implied by the SETI Paradox:“Solely that who is overcoming the GreatSilence deserves to hear the voice of theUniverse”.—–I am grateful to Richard Braastad forhis valuable comments on the manuscript.
In 1974, the most powerful broadcast ever deliberately beamed into space was made from Puerto Rico. The broadcast formed part of the ceremonies held to mark a major upgrade to the Arecibo Radio Telescope. The transmission consisted of a simple, pictorial message, aimed at our putative cosmic companions in the globular star cluster M13. This cluster is roughly 21,000 light-years from us, near the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, and contains approximately a third of a million stars.
The broadcast was particularly powerful because it used Arecibo’s megawatt transmitter attached to its 305 meter antenna. The latter concentrates the transmitter energy by beaming it into a very small patch of sky. The emission was equivalent to a 20 trillion watt omnidirectional broadcast, and would be detectable by a SETI experiment just about anywhere in the galaxy, assuming a receiving antenna similar in size to Arecibo’s.
The message consists of 1679 bits, arranged into 73 lines of 23 characters per line (these are both prime numbers, and may help the aliens decode the message). The “ones” and “zeroes” were transmitted by frequency shifting at the rate of 10 bits per second. The total broadcast was less than three minutes. A graphic showing the message is reproduced here. It consists, among other things, of the Arecibo telescope, our solar system, DNA, a stick figure of a human, and some of the biochemicals of earthly life. Although it’s unlikely that this short inquiry will ever prompt a reply, the experiment was useful in getting us to think a bit about the difficulties of communicating across space, time, and a presumably wide culture gap.
Sending and Searching for Interstellar Messages
There is a close interrelation between Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI). For example, the answers to the questions “Where to search” and “Where to send” are equivalent, in that both require an identical selection from the same target star lists. Similar considerations lead to a strategy of time synchronization between sending and searching. Both SETI and METI use large reflectors. The concept of “magic frequencies” may be applicable to both SETI and METI. Efforts to understand an alien civilization’s Interstellar Messages (IMs), and efforts to compose our own IMs so they will be easily understood by unfamiliar Extraterrestrials, are mutually complementary. Furthermore, the METI-question: “How can we benefit from sending IMs, if a response may come only thousands of years later?” begs an equivalent SETI-question: “How can we benefit from searching, if it is impossible now to perceive the motivations and feelings of those who may have sent messages in the distant past?” A joint consideration of the theoretical and the practical aspects of both sending and searching for IMs, in the framework of a unified, disciplined scientific approach, can be quite fruitful. We seek to resolve the cultural disconnect between those who advocate sending interstellar messages, and others who anathematize those who would transmit.
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