In Other News…

There’s always a lot going on with LaserSETI. It’s easy to be super focused on the operations and observational data but, just like overall SETI 9-dimensional haystack, the LaserSETI project is similarly multifaceted, and we’re always trying to make progress on all its different dimensions.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, closer to a thousand hours… of 3D printing time. Here’s the receiving bucket containing the parts for the new instruments, waiting to be cleaned and put to use:

Large bucket of LaserSETI parts, waiting to be cleaned and used

We’ve done so much printing, in fact, that it’s time to swap out the printing surface for a new one. It’s not hard to spot the difference, is it? And, with a shiny new surface, it’s a good time to print the parts that are a little more delicate in the first layers, like the sunshade that protects the cameras’ shutters from the beating sun.

3D printer build surface: used vs. new

On some of those other dimensions, here’s a few things happening right now:

  • Replacement of a misbehaving hard disk in our long-term storage array, and rebuilding the double redundancy of the 100TB volume
  • Copying a subset of the data to ship off to a budding student partnership to study the data
  • Estimates for LaserSETI’s usefulness at capturing Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays
    • Spoiler alert: not as good as we’d hoped, because the chances of seeing an event are proportional to how spread out your sensors are on the ground
  • Working with a mechanical engineer to iron out the kinks caused by heat transfer in the cutting process when fabricating our stainless steel enclosures