Joined: 29 Apr 07
For awhile now, I have been concerned about how much good I am doing; when I crunch for Seti@home.
How much of the data they send us is new data? I keep hearing about how Seti@home loses a whole year of already processed data, so they have to resend that whole year worth of data. I also hear about data getting corrupted, so it has to be resent out to everybody. Lastly, I hear that if Seti@home doesn't have any new raw data from the telescopes, they just send us already processed data: to keep us busy and "to make sure it was processed correctly the first time."
Also, what is being done with our processed data? NTPCkr has been dead for years now. How closely is our data being analyzed? Is it even being analyzed? Could Seti@home be missing alien signals, because they don't have NTPCkr?
Sometimes it feels like I'm just reprocessing data, that has been processed many times already. Then, the data just gets thrown on a pile of data, that never gets looked at.
Thank you for your answers.
Joined: 25 Oct 06
Here is what I think that is what is:
Data (work units) are sent out to three people and then the results are compared . If all three report promising signal strength above the noise on the frequencies scanned then that work unit is put in a pile to see if it repeats the next time the Arecibo Antenna happens to be in that sector of the sky. I don't know if any such activity has produced repeating candidates or, if so, any type of signal processing for intelligence is done.
There are other Boinc distributed computing projects and I don't know if the same small SETI group manages all of these other endeavors? Since we have been listening for 50 years without hearing any eavesdropping type of activity--it may well be that ET is too far away and will only be detected by sending a one-time purposive beacon to random spots in the sky. I therefore think that every promising data set should be examined for possible intelligence regardless of the fact that it does not repeat.
The fact that there are two competing SETI efforts at Berkley alone deeply disturbs me.
Joined: 7 Mar 03
Not quite right - the initial send out is to two people, not three. The data we work on is not contemporaneous with the receivers, thus the loss of a few days in out processing is not important.
If you care to read the news pages you will see some work has been done recently with what might be termed "Niticker lite". This takes a course look at the data we have screened, the process employed is somewhat different to NTPCKR, but it is hoped it will yield a smaller data set for something like NTPCKR to work over.
The BOINC development team has been all but dismantled due to lack of funding, its inital aims having been achieved. It was never part of SETI@Home, although it did share some staff and did use SETI@Home as its major test platform.
Finally, SETI@Home is part of the overall SETI work at Berkeley, there are several other projects running, using different techniques in their attempts to find ET. In one sense they compete, but it is more a co-operative competition than anything else.
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