Stride, Scot L.

Scot Stride

Sandstone. Credit: Mineral Information Institute.

Scot Stride is a senior spacecraft telecommunications engineer with NASA-JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) who has worked with spaceflight and telecommunications hardware since 1980. During his spare time, he has researched the use of existing COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) sensor, instrument, and computer technologies to design SETV experiments to attempt detection of robotic extraterrestrial probes that may have reached Earth. His article in the January 2001 issue of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society presented the rationale for the search strategy: it describes an autonomous robotic observatory platform for measuring anomalous observational phenomena.1 He also presented a follow-on paper at the third optical SETI conference in January 2001.2 Together with Bruce Cornet he presented a paper on Solar System at SETICon03, the third annual technical symposium of the SETI League, in 2003.3



1. Stride, Scot L., "An Instrument-Based Method to Search for Extraterrestrial Interstellar Robotic Probes," Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 54(1/2), 2-13, 2001.


Abstract: Technological advancements have allowed us to build robotic space probes to remotely explore the solar system. Interstellar robotic missions are under serious consideration. Advanced extant extraterrestrial civilizations within the galaxy, if they exist, are very likely exploring with robotic probes as well, some of which may have reached our solar system and taken an interest in life on Earth. Recent technological advances make it possible to conduct a scientific search for evidence of extraterrestrial interstellar robotic probes. Modern solid-state sensing devices and scientific instruments, combined with high-speed computer hardware, can be used in an effort to detect the physical presence of a probe. The SETV (Search for Extraterrestrial Visitation) model is new and an offspring of SETA (artifacts) and SETI. SETV includes the construction of passive autonomous data acquisition platforms using "commercial off-the-shelf" hardware, to collect reliable and unambiguous data on anomalous observational phenomena that may be ETI probes. The SETV hypothesis and experimental methods will be described. The SETV hypothesis can be experimentally tested and attempts to statistically reject a null hypothesis which states that ETI probes do not exist. SETV Pre and Post-detection protocols are necessary and will be examined. SETV is a timely, results-oriented, method worthy of serious consideration in our continuing desire to answer the question "Are we alone?"


2. Stride, Scot L., "Instrument Technologies for the Detection of Extraterrestrial Interstellar Robotic Probes," SPIE Proceedings on Optical SETI-III, Vol. 4273, San Jose, California, 2001.


Abstract: In the continuing endeavor to detect evidence of ETI (Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in the solar neighborhood, instrument technologies now exist that allow the formation of a scientific method to carry out a search for interstellar robotic probes of possible extraterrestrial origin. The range of currently observable probe features/manifestations will be shown and how they influence search space, instrument selection and deployment. Autonomous instrument platforms (i.e. robotic observatories) to search for anomalous energy signatures can be designed and assembled using Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software. The COTS approach to observatory design provides an economical, flexible and robust path toward collecting reliable data. The present variety of COTS instruments permits the necessary observational sensitivity, bandwidth and embedded processing speed to establish a nearby robotic probe detection envelope. A survey of these instrument technologies will be presented and how they can be applied to the challenge of collecting enough scientific data on anomalous observational phenomena to determine whether or not a robotic probe was detected.


3. Cornet, Bruce and Stride, Scot L., "Solar System SETI Using Radio Telescope Arrays," Proceedings of SETICon 03, The Third SETI League Technical Symposium, The College of New Jersey, Ewing New Jersey, April 25-27, 2003.


Abstract: The search for extraterrestrial intelligence must include complementary observing programs that investigate our solar system and near Earth. Solar system observing strategies involve a search for energy (e.g., artificial microwaves) or physical manifestations (e.g., exploratory robotic probes) that may be present. Artificial electromagnetic emissions from robotic probes may be detectable using existing ground-based radio-telescope observatories like Arecibo, or those undergoing construction such as the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). Future systems like the SETI League's Array2k and the SETI Institute's ATA are well suited to the task of searching the solar system for anomalous microwave phenomena. Steerable phased arrays have the unique ability to produce multiple beams, and shaped antenna patterns to target and track specific planet-moon systems or regions of deep space. At distances less than 50 AU, large SETI arrays can detect electromagnetic emissions much fainter than those from light years away. Lower free space attenuation (i.e., higher signal-to-noise ratios), a reduced amount of scintillation from the interstellar medium, and other factors improve system performance. Solar System SETI is a search for active exploratory robotic probes within the solar system. These probes can possibly be discovered if they emit secondary or leakage microwave energy. The radial velocity, range and location of these emissions can be estimated from analysis of measured one-way doppler drifts and data from a synthesized quad-beam monopulse antenna array configuration.