The ngVLA community study program is a call for proposals sponsored by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) that aims to encourage the scientific community to help build the concept and design of the next generation VLA (ngVLA). The ngVLA has the potential to be the most effective SETI system ever built, providing 10x the sensitivity compared to the existing JVLA and frequency coverage up to 100 GHz.

The SETI Institute COSMIC Team, led by Prof. Evan Keane at the National University of Ireland Galway and Project Scientist Dr. Cherry Ng, submitted a proposal last month. They hope to realize this SETI potential by determining how to optimally perform SETI searches on the ngVLA. NRAO accepted the proposal, and the team will receive $26k to carry out this joint international project over the next six months. This work will specifically identify the SETI search parameter space probed by differing algorithms and differing ngVLA configurations. The goal is to identify the design specifications and features that maximize the SETI science output from the ngVLA. Additionally, the team will identify ‘sweet spots’ where SETI work can be performed optimally in tandem with the observatory’s many other science objectives.

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