Implications of Directed Energy for SETI


The implications of recent advances in directed energy on searches for extraterrestrial intelligence (since we have given up on finding any here on Earth) are profound. We will explore the basic signal and noise properties of systems (basically a link margin calculation) and be able to show that it is already possible for us to both send and receive directed energy signals across the entire horizon (visible universe). This allow us to go vastly beyond the normal discourse of looking locally for sources of signals and search at extra galactic distances for extremely narrow bandwidth signals that may be present from civilizations as advanced or more so than ourselves. This has profound implications for SETI given the likely number of planets that are now predicted from the recent Kepler and other surveys, assuming that advanced civilizations even need to be on planets and that they have any desire to communicate with others in regions of the electromagnetic spectrum we are able to access.

Trillion Planet Survey (TPS)

We propose a search for continuous wave (CW) laser beacons from an intelligent civilization in the Andromeda galaxy. Using only a 0.8 meter telescope, a standard photometric system, and an image processing pipeline, we expect to be able to detect any CW laser signal directed at us from an extraterrestrial civilization in M31, as long as the civilization is operating at a wavelength we can “see”, had appropriate power and has left the beacon on long enough for us to detect it here on Earth. The search target is M31 due to its high stellar density relative to our own Milky Way galaxy. Andromeda is home to at least one trillion stars, and thus at least one trillion planets. This is an unprecedented number of targets relative to other past SETI searches. For this reason we call this project the Trillion Planet Survey. -Stewart, Zhang, Lubin, & Taylor, COSPAR-2018
M31 – The Great Galaxy in Andromeda

SETI workstation at UCSB

“If a class 4 civilization in Andromeda wanted to target the Milky Way and used our “intelligent targeting” scheme to maximize detection by intelligent life on planets, such as ourselves (i.e., target the stars in the Milky Way), then a simple Earth-based 3 year survey with a 1 meter telescope would detect a single class 4 civilization anywhere in Andromeda with near
unity probability.”
– Lubin, 2016



“The Search for Directed Intelligence”, Lubin 2016, REACH Elsevier The Search for Directed Intelligence

REACH – Reviews in Human Space Exploration – Vol 1, 20-45, March 2016

The Search for Directed Intelligence – Pre Pub- Lubin – REACH – 2016


SPIE – Optics and Photonic – San Diego – August 2017

“The Trillion Planet Survey” – Stewart et al

Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 10401, id. 104010C 11 pp. (2017)–an-optical-search-for-directed/10.1117/12.2286945


SPIE – Optics and Photonic – San Diego – August 2016

Lubin et al. “Implications of Directed Energy for SETI”: Paper

Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 9981, id. 99810H 11 pp. (2016)


Directed Energy for Relativistic Propulsion and Interstellar Communications – from Aug 2013 ICARUS Starship Congress

submitted Jan 2014- Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (pub JBIS 2015 68, 172) – Lubin et al 2015 DE-STAR-JBIS – v13

As published: JBIS – as published – black-white – Lubin

List of recent Directed Energy related publications: DE_STAR_and_related_References

Witches Broom by Ken Crawford 5 fitler image

SETI Institute lecture– February 2014

SETI Big Picture Science Radio Show Interview: Space For Everyone: Philip Lubin by Niederhoff

Interview at SETI Institute with Seth Shostak and Philip Lubin

Lecture – Presentation: Directed Energy for Planetary Defense and Implication for Searches for Advanced Civilizations