Telescope with ‘brain’ prototype could detect radio signals from ancient aliens by 2030

A new billion-pound prototype ‘brain’-powered telescope is set to come online in the coming years, and by 2030 the super-powered machine could be hearing distant radio signals from aliens

Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope
The Square Kilometer Array combines hundreds of dishes and 130,000 antennas

A brand new “brain-powered” telescope could hear distant radio signals emanating from extraterrestrial civilizations as early as 2030.

A giant radio telescope will soon begin scanning the night sky for extraterrestrial signals, and it’s powered by a prototype ‘brain’.

The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) will feature 197 parabolic dishes and 130,000 antennas in South Africa and Australia.

It was designed to pick up both natural and alien-generated radio signals that current telescopes cannot detect.

Construction began last year ahead of its 2025 opening, and researchers are developing the software needed to operate.

The world’s largest telescope will be controlled by a prototype ‘brain’ built by a number of British institutions, the BBC reported.

The telescope could discover evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations by the end of the decade


(Getty Images)

The brain will be software controlled, presenting a huge problem for the British tinkerers building it.

dr Chris Pearson, head of the astronomy group at RAL Space on the Harwell campus in Oxfordshire, told The BBC: “We’re talking about around 600 petabytes (600 million gigabytes) of data a year coming out of the SKA that needs to be delivered to astronomers worldwide.

“So it’s a scaling issue, a processing issue, a data transfer issue.”

One of the largest scientific projects of the 21st century to date, the SKA will join a series of next-generation telescopes that will become operational over the next decade.

The £1.7 billion project will process a whopping 600 petabytes (600 million gigabytes) of data annually for astronomers to analyze.

Its improved resolution and sensitivity together with the massive ‘brain’ computing system will allow astronomers to delve deeper into astrophysics than ever before.

The SKA will be part of a network of telescopes that will help answer questions about the origins of the universe



In addition to answering questions about the origins of the universe, how stars first shine or what exactly dark energy is, the telescope would also pick up any extraterrestrial transmissions.

Astrobiologists will use the technology to search for amino acids, the building blocks of life, on distant planets and asteroids by identifying their special signatures at specific frequencies.

The UK government is the main contributor to the SK through the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and has pledged to fund 15 per cent of the total cost from 2021 to 2030.

As part of this, £15million was released this Monday to fund the telescope’s new ‘brain’.

The money supports the work of various universities and STFC labs.

The first prototype brain is scheduled to go live in 2024, but the professors behind it will try to scale it to the antenna and radio dishes.

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Fry Electronics Team

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