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Warm and Fussy
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Truly a halfbaked idea: Cellphones, when they're not being used are constantly seeking for a signal - why not use small slices of cellphone time to take snapshots of the sky in radio frequencies? The potential number of cellphones available for this would provide enough signal power, and the idea of
using multiple small antennae to simulate one big antenna is well understood. In this case we might get a virtual antena the size of the Earth.
SETI @ HOME
using the internet and personal computers to digest the info we already have [interpreter, Jul 24 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]
misc. seti at home ideas, probably not new
high gain antennae pointed at the zenith (straight up). [LoriZ, Jan 11 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]
Not using cell phones as a radio telescope per se, but it's a radio telescope that uses cheap receiver hardware derived from and made inexpensive by the cell phone industry [notexactly, Jun 21 2019]
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||"Er, hold on, my phone is telling me it needs to call NASA."
||The bigger our "eyes" the better we'll understand the universe. Great idea!
Such mad ingenuity restores ones faith humanity- or something!
||OK, if not the cell phones themselves (Orwellian genius!) what about hijacking cellphone masts after hours? Maybe more do-able in this privacy-obsessed land? Or a "SETI@home"-brand cell phone? As cellphones gain more cpu & memory I can easily see this becoming a downloadable option, like a custom ring-tone or something...Yep, I can see it now: The Department of Homeland SETI ...or NASA merging with the FCC...
||Hacking the GPS chips in modern cell phones could provide useful time and positional information.
||My cellphone battery is short enough as it is. I don't need anything else sucking up juice when I'm not on a call. (-)