Project Argus

Project Argus is a global SETI program which will eventually involve 5,000 small radio telescopes worldwide, built and operated by private individuals, mainly radio amateurs and microwave experimenters. The project, an all-sky survey, is being coordinated by the SETI League. Prototype stations went into operation in 1996 and full sky coverage is planned for 2001. In Greek mythology, Argus was the all-seeing watchman with a hundred eyes, charged by Hera to guard Io. Not surprisingly, it has proved to be a population appellation for instruments capable of all-around vision. It was the preliminary name given, in 1971, to an ambitious scheme that eventually grew into Project Cyclops but was never realized and the name of another, very different array of antennas under construction at Ohio State University (see Argus radio telescope). In fiction, too, it has been employed, by Arthur C. Clarke for his omnidirectional antenna in Imperial Earth1 and by Carl Sagan in Contact.2



1. Clarke, Arthur C. Imperial Earth. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich (1976)
2. Sagan, Carl. Contact. New York: Simon & Schuster (1985).