Discussion Forums

Community Meeting 2012-01-17

8 replies [Last post]
sigblips's picture
Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 733

[11:00am] jrseti_: Hello all!
[11:01am] Michael_Mo: hi
[11:01am] jrseti_: It is 11am California time - IRC chat time
[11:01am] sigblips: Hello.
[11:02am] jrseti_: Agenda?
[11:02am] jrseti_: 1) SonATA status
[11:02am] jrseti_: 2) Website stuff
[11:02am] Michael_Mo: sigblips. It seems I cannot join on iphone without wifi.
[11:03am] sigblips: So maybe AT&T 3G really is blocking the IRC ports. Thanks for testing.
[11:03am] Michaels_ joined the chat room.
[11:04am] Michael_Mo: How about 3. Meeting mechanics
[11:04am] sigblips: 4) http://setiquest.org/forum/topic/seti-live-and-alien-encounters
[11:04am] gliese581c: Title: SETI Live and Alien Encounters | setiQuest (at setiquest.org)
[11:05am] jrseti_: Who all is attending this meeting. I see Micharl_Mo and Sigblips, anyone else?
[11:06am] jrseti_: I guess not/
[11:06am] Michael_Mo: Yeah, maybe item 3 shoulda been done 6 months ago
[11:06am] jrseti_: 5) setiQuest Explorer news
[11:06am] jrseti_: Michael - If you have any ideas - please let me know.
[11:06am] Michael_Mo: I will, when we get to item 3
[11:07am] jrseti_: OK - Sonata Status - we are still plodding along. The Kepler field around 8GHz.
[11:08am] jrseti_: All is well. Beam 3 still has a hardware bug tht someone (not me) is trying to figure out
[11:08am] jrseti_: I think the plan is to bump down to 1 to 2 GHz soon.
[11:09am] jrseti_: We are working hard on Galaxy Zoo, and in a month hope to be testing it. The Galaxy Zoo project will be aimed at helping us detect and record RFI in crowded bands.
[11:09am] jrseti_: At 8GHz there is not much RFI
[11:10am] jrseti_: So, that is the SonATA/ATA news!
[11:10am] jrseti_: Any questions?
[11:10am] sigblips: Would it be possible to allow raw access to the compamp files you're sending to Galaxy Zoo?
[11:11am] jrseti_: I would like this to happen, but I'll have to ask Jill and discuss to see if there is a problem with that.
[11:12am] sigblips: I'm thinking just plain ftp / http access to the directory that is holding them. No extra interface or API or info would be required.
[11:13am] jrseti_: That is not the problem. I am just wondering if this will conflict with the goals of Galaxy Zoo. I assume not, but I have to clear it with Jill.
[11:13am] Michael_Mo: Yeah, a scheme for identifying the files can be devised later.
[11:13am] Michael_Mo: Not sure how sharing data can conflict with any legitimate goal.
[11:13am] jrseti_: It would give clues to Galaxy Zoo participants? Don't know.
[11:14am] Michael_Mo: Clues?
[11:14am] sigblips: Like a game?
[11:16am] jrseti_: Galaxy Zoo is all built around the participant not knowing what they are looking at, they think telling them what they are looking at taints the results.
[11:17am] sigblips: http://planethunters.org allows the participant to download the raw light curves. I've downloaded several myself and looked at them with http://baudline.com
[11:17am] jrseti_: If you KNOW you are looking at signals from KEPLER 11b, you may sway your decisions one way or another if that is a target of interest to you - for example
[11:17am] gliese581c: Title: baudline signal analyzer - FFT spectrogram (at baudline.com)
[11:17am] Michael_Mo: Well, it seems to me that it'd take some dedicated work to backtrace the files to their GZ presentation.
[11:17am] jrseti_: Sigblips: yes - but that is their rule. They hold fast to it for our case.
[11:18am] janebird: Right now we are overbooked with observing and SETI Live. We don't have time to start posting compamps.
[11:18am] Michael_Mo: Well, we do tend to come out to that result.
[11:18am] jrseti_: Micheal - yes - I need to clear it. I'm not the boss.
[11:19am] sigblips: But the compamp files are already being posted someplace for Galaxy Zoo. I'm just asking for read access to that directory.
[11:20am] jrseti_: Yep - not really any work. Let me clear it first. I am thinking it will not be a problem.
[11:21am] jrseti_: 2) Website stuff - seems to be fairly quite. Some people voted the poll
[11:23am] Michael_Mo: Okay, there was discussion of changing menues, do you want to?
[11:24am] jrseti_: Change is goog
[11:24am] jrseti_: good
[11:24am] jrseti_: What changes? Remind us
[11:25am] Michael_Mo: Adding something to one of the dropdowns. Truthfully, the site could use a complete overhaul. But that is a topic for another day. If you remember, let me know
[11:27am] Michael_Mo: Okay then, Guess it's next topic?
[11:27am] sigblips: The setiQuest forum has spoken. Jens and Dave Robinson both find the IRC transcripts to be useful so I'll continue posting them. http://setiquest.org/forum/topic/community-meeting-2012-01-10#comment-2995
[11:27am] gliese581c: Title: Community Meeting 2012-01-10 | setiQuest (at setiquest.org)
[11:27am] jrseti_: 3) Meeting Mechanics
[11:28am] Michael_Mo: Ah, always respond to the audience (a sigblips)
[11:28am] Michael_Mo: Yeah, meetings. These IRC meetings might benefit from a couple of things
[11:28am] Michael_Mo: It seems that there are REALLY long pauses, and I suspect that folks are multitasking. Normal, but it gets worse over time
[11:29am] Michael_Mo: Second, Do we have a goal anymore?
[11:29am] Michael_Mo: Third, perhaps agendas in advance might encourage participation
[11:29am] Michael_Mo: That's what I have been thinking
[11:30am] jrseti_: First - Long pauses. Sometimes I feel I am the only one talking so I pause. I am usually not multitasking.
[11:30am] sigblips: Having a Minutes summary would be good too. As would a list of previous outstanding issues from past meetings. It seems a lot of topics get swept under the carpet over time.
[11:31am] jrseti_: Sigblips: Yes, that would be good.
[11:31am] jrseti_: The advance agenda is a good idea also.
[11:31am] Michael_Mo: jr, I think keeping the screen active will encourage folks to jump in. Otherwise, it becomes a "check the screen every few minutes or so" thing.
[11:32am] jrseti_: Do I risk being to chatty?
[11:32am] Michael_Mo: Not even close
[11:33am] jrseti_: OK then
[11:33am] sigblips: Yes an agenda and a goal should be our top concerns.
[11:33am] Michael_Mo: Back at my old employer, the practice was "Do not attend a meeting that does not have an agenda"
[11:34am] jrseti_: "Second" What is the goal? Should we re-define one?
[11:34am] Michael_Mo: Plus "Do not attend without a role: either contribute, or learn, or help decide"
[11:34am] Michael_Mo: Well, I think it relates to what is the goal of SQ
[11:34am] Michael_Mo: Right now, the focus seems to be on GalaxyZoo, which is nice, but does not need my help.
[11:35am] jrseti_: Right - what "should" be the "goal of SQ"?
[11:36am] Michael_Mo: Well, we got sidetracked into the OpenSource thing, but the broader goal has been to let people help in the search.
[11:36am] sigblips: The goal of setiQuest has changed due to many reasons. It used to be about the open source code and data access, then GSoC consumed it, now I'm not sure what the goal is.
[11:37am] Michael_Mo: Right
[11:37am] Michael_Mo: I still believe in data access and all that, but there seem to be a great many speed bumps in the way
[11:37am] jrseti_: this is not a pause...I am thinking...
[11:37am] Michael_Mo: lol
[11:37am] Michael_Mo: face to face, you could say "hmmmm"
[11:38am] • Michael_Mo is thinking too
[11:38am] sigblips: :|
[11:38am] jrseti_: The GSoc is gone - the source code turned out to not be of much interest to many people...
[11:39am] Michael_Mo: Well, it's pretty specialized
[11:39am] jrseti_: The data and access to it seems to be the most interest
[11:39am] Michael_Mo: That was what attracted me in the first place, back in 2010
[11:39am] sigblips: Data access is the key draw for me too.
[11:40am] jrseti_: And the Galaxy Zoo work is going to provide easier access. The bloggers and forum participants focus mainly on it
[11:41am] Michael_Mo: When?
[11:41am] sigblips: 4) http://setiquest.org/forum/topic/seti-live-and-alien-encounters
[11:41am] gliese581c: Title: SETI Live and Alien Encounters | setiQuest (at setiquest.org)
[11:41am] jrseti_: Dave Robinson for one.
[11:41am] sigblips: mid March 2012?
[11:42am] jrseti_: Yes, March.
[11:42am] Michael_Mo: Um, so no goal?
[11:42am] sigblips: jrseti_: Dave Robinson? Are you referring to Galaxy Zoo or data access or bloggers? I'm confused.
[11:43am] jrseti_: bloggers
[11:43am] jrseti_: Goal - We were discussing it. I think we are coming to the conclusion that setiQuest may be est for the data, analysis of the data, access to the data, etc
[11:44am] Michael_Mo: Right, I thouht we had accidentally moved to 4
[11:44am] sigblips: Goal: Detect SETI by enabling data access, code, knowledge, ... to make that happen. How is that for the setiQuest goal?
[11:45am] jrseti_: I like that
[11:45am] sigblips: Sorry about jumping to #4, I did that because it answered the SETI Live launch date question.
[11:45am] jrseti_: In March we will have an influx of visitors, as Sigblips says at the end of the forum post
[11:45am] Michael_Mo: Broad! But the other side that has been rather prickly: when somebody "finds" something, then what? Jill worries about this, and I think that's been part of the problem
[11:46am] jrseti_: If people "find" something - we can discuss on the forum.
[11:46am] jrseti_: Releasing any data risks people jumping to conclusions
[11:47am] jrseti_: But to actually use the raw data you have to be educated enough to not jump at too much?
[11:47am] sigblips: We find interesting stuff all the time in the data. What we don't have is a way to validate it.
[11:48am] moinkers: What does it take to validate?
[11:48am] Michael_Mo: Right. That's how you get "educated"
[11:48am] jrseti_: Peer review
[11:49am] sigblips: Validation requires multiple beams, real-time, and the possibility for repointing the telescope.
[11:50am] jrseti_: Yes, but there is also peer review of findings and analysis techniques that could take place via the forum
[11:50am] sigblips: I'd personally be happy with just multiple beams. I'm all for letting someone else point the telescope. I just want to watch.
[11:51am] xbhya joined the chat room.
[11:51am] Michael_Mo: Yeah, we thrashed this out at length 18 mos ago. Maybe not perfectly, but adequately. If we build (or foster) the framework for distributed human analysis, we have done a good thing. If not, somebody else has done it. And it's a good thing too, but we have not done it
[11:52am] jrseti_: Galaxy Zoo will be distributed human analysis
[11:52am] moinkers: I made a crude program to try to line pictures from the data sets up has anyone tried it?
[11:52am] jrseti_: About setiQuest Explorer. We have decided to discontinue it.
[11:53am] Michael_Mo: Ah.
[11:53am] jrseti_: moinkers - link?
[11:53am] moinkers: its in the forum
[11:53am] Michael_Mo: Were there any learnings from that Setiquest Explorer?
[11:54am] jrseti_: moinkers - can you quickly point us to the forum topic?
[11:54am] Michael_Mo: Method learnings, I mean, not SETI discovery.
[11:54am] moinkers: http://setiquest.org/forum/topic/simple-signal-picture-viewer-program
[11:54am] gliese581c: Title: simple signal picture viewer program | setiQuest (at setiquest.org)
[11:54am] jrseti_: moinkers - sorry I have not tried it. I will.
[11:55am] sigblips: Was setiQuest Explorer's distributed human analysis able to provide any insights?
[11:56am] jrseti_: Michael - We learned that staring at mostly static data is difficult after several minutes. Also, that such a program takes more resources to support and sustain that what we have.
[11:57am] jrseti_: Sigblips: The first phase will be to let users analyze in "real-time" the crouded RFI bands that our system has been skipping.
[11:57am] Michael_Mo: Ah, yes, so I suspected. Made my eyes fall out
[11:58am] jrseti_: Sigblips: I don't think we really discovered much of interest with setiQuest Explorer. But there were some interesting signals seen. I think it showed that there is value in such a process, but it has to somehow be made interesting.
[11:59am] sigblips: Lack of support was an issue for setiQuest Explorer. How will this be avoided with Galaxy Zoo (SETI Live)? It doesn't seem like the SETI Institute has the resources.
[12:00pm] jrseti_: Galaxy Zoo will be a major project and we will make sure we give it the resources necessary. It is a much bigger deal than setiQuest Explorer.
[12:01pm] Michael_Mo: It's a good point. Make sure that "partners" can deliver
[12:01pm] sigblips: The setiQuest forum was a big project and it didn't get the resources.
[12:01pm] jrseti_: I expect major percentage of my time will be directed to developing and keeping Galaxy Zoo hopping
[12:01pm] jrseti_: Sigblips: Good point
[12:02pm] sigblips: I mean that the SETI Institute doesn't (hasn't recently) invested much time to discussions in the forum.
[12:03pm] jrseti_: Agreed.
[12:03pm] jrseti_: Shall we call it a meeting?
[12:04pm] sigblips: http://planethunters.org has a built in forum for discussion of the light curves. Do you know if Galaxy Zoo will do the same for SETI Live?
[12:04pm] jrseti_: I assume so, but I do not know. That would be good
[12:04pm] jrseti_: I'll ask them
[12:04pm] Michael_Mo: Cool!
[12:05pm] sigblips: If so then there won't be much SETI Live user influx to the current setiQuest forums.
[12:05pm] jrseti_: I just sent them an email asking about this.
[12:06pm] jrseti_: I also sent Jill an email asking about making the compamp data available.
[12:06pm] jrseti_: Sorry ... required multitasking!
[12:06pm] sigblips: I'm guessing it will be internal because that is how the whole Zooniverse eco-systems work.
[12:06pm] jrseti_: I would assume. I
[12:07pm] jrseti_: I'll let you knoe
[12:07pm] Michael_Mo: lol
[12:08pm] jrseti_: I gotta go. Thanks all for attending!
[12:08pm] Michael_Mo: bye
[12:08pm] Michael_Mo left the chat room. (Quit: ChatZilla 0.9.88 [Firefox 9.0.1/20111220165912])
[12:08pm] sigblips: bye
[12:08pm] jrseti_ left the chat room. (Remote host closed the connection)
[12:09pm] moinkers: So the three beams can each look at something else at the same time and generate an individual dataset?
[12:09pm] moinkers: at the same time?
[12:10pm] sigblips: We don't currently have access to 3 beams. If we did it would be different 3 datasets at the same time.
[12:11pm] moinkers: How would this help idendify RFI?
[12:11pm] sigblips: "3 different datasets"
[12:13pm] sigblips: The idea is that local-RFI would be in all 3 beams while a non-terrestrial signal would be in only a single beam.
[12:13pm] moinkers: ok
[12:13pm] sigblips: Think of 3 beams like having 3 telescopes each pointing in a different direction.
[12:14pm] moinkers: but all the dishes are pointed in the same direction right?
[12:15pm] sigblips: Yes. A beamformer creates multiple beams from the 42 ATA dishes. The beams can be electronically steered.
[12:20pm] moinkers: so they have the three beam information saved somewhere for all the data on the website?
[12:22pm] sigblips: Nope. Only the 8.7 MHz single-beam data that you have been using. That's all that was collected.

Jens's picture
Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 19
Interesting meeting. Too bad

Interesting meeting. Too bad I missed it.
As for the termination of the SETIquest Explorer - it again made me think about the setiquest.org homepage. We in my opinion definitely need a more flexible and less static frontpage. If you visit setiquest.org regularly and just take a quick look, it feels like nothing has changed at all. The stop of the SETIquest Explorer should be the frontline - along with the preview of the Galaxy Zoo / SETI Live project.

Do I understand it correctly however, that the site and the forums will still be active, after Galaxy Zoo/SETI Live will have started and will serve this project then?

Best regards

jrseti's picture
Joined: 2010-07-22
Posts: 252
Yes, everything will still be

Yes, everything will still be active.
Have you seen the new http://setiquest.info? This site makes the current state of the Allen Telescope Array easier for us to keep tabs on. The info you see at http://setiquest.info is available as JSON or XML files for public use. See an explanation at http://setiquest.info/data/feedinfo
It would be awesome if someone would write a javascript/HTML module that would display this information in tha main panel of setiquest.org. That would make the site less static. If someone were to do this, it would be desireable to make it look apealing and fit well within the main panel that is already there on setiQuest.org. I could then incorporate this code into the main panel.
To do this, I assume I'd have to make the information available on setiquest.info as "jsonp" format. Anyone wishing to do this can do it on their own server on a plain page, and have us all take a look.


Joined: 2010-04-15
Posts: 235
What is the difference

What is the difference between the mode where the retrieved XML feed  has not changed for almost two hours and the observation state "IDLE" ?

jrseti's picture
Joined: 2010-07-22
Posts: 252
Rob, This page is still in

This page is still in flux. Sorry for the occasional inconsistencies like this. The problem is that SonATA stops in unexpected ways and my program is not detecting that it stopped. I am trying to capture all the conditions under which SonATA unexpectedly quits, which may be impossible. I am thinking I also need to timeout and set the state to IDLE.
Also note - we are not observing and I am playing back last night's log files for testing out my server.
I see you are using my XML or JSON feed to make the page you posted? Awesome! Much nicer looking than my page!
The server I am using is Ruby-on-Rails. What i'd like to do is create a google sky map on the server side as a static image and make that available as one of the data-feeds. Haven't figured out how to do that yet. If you know, let me know.


Joined: 2010-04-15
Posts: 235
Thank you Jon for the

Thank you Jon for the explanation.  I am using the setiquest.info XML feed.  It has been working well, especially now that I understand from you the update pauses that will happen occasionally.  It is working well this morning.

Generating server-side images from Google Sky may violate the "Restrictions on Use" clause of the Terms of Service.   You should read the Terms of Service and make your own determination.

I will make my HTML5 GUI front-end for the setiquest.info XML feed publicly available and post its URL on the forum.

Joined: 2010-04-15
Posts: 235
>What i'd like to do is

>What i'd like to do is create a google sky map on the server side as a
>static image and make that available as one of the data-feeds.

Supposed each observation, or every few observations, based on some criteria (strongest signal, candidate, triggered and off, ...) select a compamp file from that observation, turn it into a waterfall image, and make that available.  I think people would find that interesting...

jrseti's picture
Joined: 2010-07-22
Posts: 252
I'm working on that. I am

I'm working on that. I am thinking the *.archive-compamp files would be best for viewing. As you may remember, a *.archive-compamp file is created whenever a DX detects a signal, and the *.archive-compamp is comprized of the subchannel with a signal, and 8 subchannels on either side. 
I have all the *.archive-compamp files already pumping to the setiQuest.info server. I am now working on creating the infrastructure.
Do you think this is a good idea?


Joined: 2010-04-15
Posts: 235
>Do you think this is a good

>Do you think this is a good idea?