I personally have to wonder about this one, they are saying that they were shutdown because the lack of funding but the name of this array is The Alan Array and was named after the billionaire Paul Alan the other guy that founded Microsoft that we never hear about. How Could they be out of money where is Paul Alan?
Insufficient funding has led the SETI Institute to shut down its radio telescopes in California, which are used to search for alien life.
BY EVAN THOMAS
ANCHOR ALEX ROZIER
You're watching multisource tech news analysis from Newsy.
Nobody will be answering Earthâ€™s cosmic phone for the time being, thanks to budget cuts that have shut down the telescopes at the SETI Instituteâ€™s Allen Array. According to a letter from Institute CEO
Tom Pierson - most of the annual funding for the program came from the state of California and the National Science Foundation. Now, a state budget crisis and reduced funding from the NSF has made it impossible to continue daily operations.
The institute will remain in what he calls â€˜hibernationâ€™.
â€œHibernation means that, starting this week, the equipment is unavailable for normal observations and is being maintained in a safe state by a significantly reduced staff.â€
The San Jose Mercury News reports the shutdown is depriving astronomers of their best way to search for life on other planets.
â€œThe Allen Array is not the only radio telescope facility that can be used in SETI searches. But it is the best; elsewhere, scientists have to borrow time on other telescopes.â€
And the shutdown means more than just the loss of their most dedicated tool. In an article for Fast Company, SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak said the research done at the Allen Array may have yielded broader benefits:
â€œ...the kind of tech that is developed for SETI, these antenna arrays, monitor 100 million channels simultaneously. There's no commercial application for that now, but the lesson of history is that whenever you develop a new technical capability, you often find an interesting market for it.â€
But thereâ€™s still hope for the telescopes. SETI is already looking for ways to get the facility operational again. And according to PCWorld, the telescopes might not be in hibernation for long.
â€œ...the potentially good news is that the Air Force Space Command might consider using the ATA for "space surveillance"--snooping and tracking objects in space. Plus, it is not a permanent hiatus. When the California economy picks up and more donations pour through, the telescope ensemble could get back on its feet...â€
Until SETI finds new funding - through donations or renewed federal support - the Allen Array will sit quiet.
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Paul Gardner Allen (born January 21, 1953) is an American investor and philanthropist who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates and is one of the wealthiest people in the world with a personal wealth of US$13.5 billion as of 2010. He is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., which manages his business and philanthropic efforts. Allen also has a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio which includes technology companies such as Evri and Gist, real estate holdings, and stakes in other technology, media, and content companies. Allen also owns two professional sports teams, the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL), and the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is also part-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, which joined Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2009. Allen's memoir Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft was released on April 19, 2011, and extensive excerpts have been published in the May 2011 issue of Vanity Fair.