targeted search

A targeted search is a search that involves aiming observation equipment at specific locations or objects in the sky and tracking these over extended periods of time. This contrasts with an all-sky survey. Targeted searches are used, for example, in the search for extrasolar planets and in some SETI programs, such as Project Phoenix. Targeted SETI is well-suited to large, steerable radio telescopes with their narrow bandwidths and high sensitivities. Providing the guess is right, a targeted search offers the greatest likelihood of success. On the other hand, it involves making assumptions which, if wrong, would result in more interesting objects or signals being missed.