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Montebugnoli S.,National Institute for Astrophysic | Cosmovici C.,National Institute for Astrophysic | Monari J.,National Institute for Astrophysic | Pluchino S.,National Institute for Astrophysic | And 10 more authors.
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2010

The Italian Medicina Radioastronomy Station (nearby Bologna) is equipped with two antennas: the 32 mt (VLBI) dish and the Northern Cross, a large T-shaped parabolic/cylindrical antenna (30.000 sqm). So far Seti observations have been performed using a SERENDIP IV high resolution spectrometer connected to the VLBI dish in "piggy back" mode configuration. In order to facilitate data interpretation and to introduce innovative methods to search for possible extraterrestrial signals, we are planning to make use of the large UHF Northern Cross transit telescope. Sky observations performed at least within two months, could provide for each day a number of matrices labeled according to the observing sidereal time. The entire set of matrices will be characterized by an averaged spectrum on each row per day. Keeping constant the transit antenna declination, a coherent signal coming from a definite position of the sky, would produce a "flag on" in the same submatrix at the same sidereal time. Detections collected in this way could be considered "confirmed" since they always come from the same region of the sky and are observed regularly. An extremely powerful processing board based on a multi-FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) core was developed and is now under programming. This is conceived to be the processing core for this new kind of investigations. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Montebugnoli S.,National Institute for Astrophysic | Cosmovici C.,National Institute for Astrophysic | Bianchi G.,National Institute for Astrophysic | Naldi G.,National Institute for Astrophysic | And 7 more authors.
61st International Astronautical Congress 2010, IAC 2010 | Year: 2010

At the SETI Italia group, located at the Medicina (I) radiotelescopes, the design of low cost high frequency resolution back ends has been started. The aim is to allow any large or small radiotelescope (lead by either professionals or amateurs) to perform SETI activities. The first approach is to implement an almost real time software spectrum analyzer, running on a GPU (Graphic Processor Unit), the second one is based on a quad-core fast PC equipped with a PCI 20 MSPS 8 bit A/D converter. This software will be extremely optimized to perform a quick Fast Fourier Transform on a programmed number (either complex or real) of points. The third approach is based on a home made board and the last one on the configuration of a ROACH board (CASPER group-Berkeley-Ca) to handle and store high frequency signals. The common denominator of the data processing units are: an ultra fast A/D converter, a digital down converter, a multi bandpass filter, a data decimation algorithm, a programmable polyphase filter bank combined, through a CTM (Corner Turn Memory), to a Fast Fourier Transform and finally an adder tree. The software for both approaches will allow to set configuration parameters, to plot online data and store data in the Serendip IV format to use the existing software to analyze the stored data. Copyright ©2010 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved. Source

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