FSpaceRPG article

Status: Beta

In 2000 in California the prototype for a large SETI array was out into operation. Seven satellite dishes were put into operation as a single array, pointing blindly into space in the first demonstration of technology scientists had hoped would let them eavesdrop on intelligent civilizations thousands of light-years in space.

The dishes were the prototype of what was being called the One Hectare Telescope, a joint project of the SETI Institute - for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence - and the University of California, Berkeley.

By 2005, the project had hoped to include as many as 1,000 of the 6-meter dishes on two acres near Mount Lassen in the rugged hills of Northern California. The dishes, synchronized to shift together, would collect signals from space. The price tag was deemed a relative pittance as scientific endeavors go. The institute’s executive director, estimated the bill at about $25 million.

The project detected no signals during that time and funding cuts and rising costs due to economic conditions limited the expansion of the project until about 2019 when funding became available if the array could be used for some other scientific endeavours.

During the Mech Assault of 2050, this expanded array played a key role in tracking enemy guided munitions and following this event and the contact with the Aratani received enormous investment funding in following years.

The array first detected some signals from some form of intelligent civilisation in the 2070s at a distance of 30,000 light years. No active communications were ever received, as the signal was later analysed to be either some form of powerful beacon or possibly some immense form of radar imaging signal. Contact with that signal was lost within months, but it gave hope to such projects.

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