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RE: starship-design: It's a bad, bad world out there

On Monday, October 27, 1997 10:24 PM, David Levine 
[SMTP:david@actionworld.com] wrote:

> Well, this is what I mean - assuming that very highly advanced
> civilizations would contain their power leakage (it's a waste, for one
> thing) then we're only talking about civilizations like us.  I'd like to
> know - are you and Kelly both assuming it would be detectable?  Or do
> you guys have figures to back it up?
> WHY is the Earth's power grid detectable from, say, Tau Ceti?
> Narrowband radar I'll agree to - I've seen the numbers.  But I'd like to
> see numbers on how much EM radiation our power supplies leak.

Let's put the EM leakage in perspective. We have already pretty well agreed 
that relatively high powered, broadcast signals, at shorter wavelengths 
with higher S/N ratios cannot be detected at interstellar distances. It 
would take a gigawatt maser to punch a recognizable signal out to any 
significant distance. So exactly how are you going to detect a trickle of 
leakage at long wavelengths, carrying no recognizable signal? Given the 
wavelengths that this leakage typically occurs at, I doubt that it even 
penetrates out of atmosphere...anybody know for sure?