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 of VLA (ngVLA). The ngVLA has the potential to be the most efficient SETI system ever built, offering 10 times the sensitivity of the existing JVLA and frequency coverage up to 100 GHz.
The SETI Institute’s COSMIC team, led by Professor Evan Keane of the National University of Ireland in 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 research on ngVLA. The NRAO accepted the proposal and the team will receive $ 26,000 to complete this joint international project over the next six months. This work will specifically identify the SETI search parameter space probed by different algorithms and different configurations of ngVLA. The goal is to identify specifications and design features that maximize the SETI scientific output of the ngVLA. In addition, the team will identify “prime spots” where SETI work can be best performed in tandem with the observatory’s many other scientific objectives.