Elmsford, N.Y. — [email protected], a program designed to scan the heavens for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, recently passed a significant milestone. More than 2.5 million volunteered computers in 226 countries are now part of the project that could be considered – at 20 teraflops – one of the largest supercomputers in the world.
According to Dan Werthimer, Chief Scientist for [email protected], the program wouldn’t be possible without two essential things: The millions of volunteers who believe there must be intelligent life elsewhere; and the Fujifilm DLTtape IV on which gigabytes of space data is being stored.
“The more data that we can record and analyze, the better our chances of finding a distant civilization,” Werthimer said. “In trying to decide what would be the best storage technology to use, we searched for a medium that was extremely reliable with a very high capacity because we’re recording 35, maybe 50, gigabytes a day. We asked our colleagues to identify experts in this field and the best storage technology to use and all roads pointed to Fujifilm and its DLTtape IV media. Fujifilm products like DLTtape IV made the [email protected] project possible.”
The [email protected] screen saver program was launched in May 1999. Instead of displaying pretty pictures of serene landscapes or glamorous celebrity headshots, the [email protected] screen saver serves a more celestial purpose. Downloadable for free from http://setiathome.berkeley.edu, the screensaver crunches raw data from space radio signals collected by the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico, the largest of its kind in the world.
Radio signals at Arecibo are translated into a digital format and downloaded onto high-capacity, high-density, long-lasting DLTtape IV data cartridges provided exclusively by Fujifilm’s Computer Products Division. This high capacity tape format was developed leveraging Fujifilm’s innovative ATOMM (an acronym for Advanced super Thin-layer and high-Output Metal Media) technology. This “inside” metal particle coating technology has helped generate great leaps in storage capacity, performance and reliability for systems developed by drive manufacturers such as Iomega, Quantum, IBM and others.
The [email protected] project uses nearly 60 Fujifilm tapes per month that are sent from Arecibo via air courier to the [email protected] headquarters at the University of California at Berkeley. The data is then downloaded and divided into 300-kilobyte chunks that are distributed via the Internet to over 2.5 million individual PCs around the world. On each PC, during idle moments, the [email protected] screen saver automatically processes the information and sends the results to project headquarters at the University of California, Berkeley. This arrangement allows the [email protected] project to simultaneously scan and analyze frequency signals at a rate equivalent to 1000 years of computing time per day.
“The interest that the program has generated among technology and corporate communities has made our program quite a success,” said Werthimer. “Thanks to its reliability and high capacity, DLTtape IV has played an integral part in the signal-gathering process, and has helped us to successfully protect and archive our priceless database.”
“Fujifilm is proud to be a part of such an innovative program that truly incorporates all aspects of today’s technological advances, including the Internet, and network and home computing,” said Scott McNulty, Director of Marketing, Computer Products Division, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. “Data storage has evolved into much more than just storing data files on a floppy disk. It’s now multimedia, taking us into new and more exciting areas each and every day.”
Those who would like to learn more about the [email protected] project can visit the http://www.fujifilmmediasource.com or http://setiathome.berkeley.edu Web sites. Screen savers for Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX operations systems are currently available directly from the [email protected] Web page.