SETI + Apache Spark™

The SETI Institute’s mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe. The IBM jStart team has joined with the SETI Institute to develop an Apache Spark application to analyze 100 million radio events detected over several years. These events look for faint signals, which may betray the presence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. The complex nature of the data demands sophisticated mathematical models to find faint signals, and machine-learning algorithms to separate terrestrial interference from signals truly of interest.

This application uses the iPython Notebook service on Apache Spark, deployed on IBM Cloud Data Services (CDS). Data is loaded into the CDS object store in a format that facilitates signal processing and experimentation. Data scientists from NASA Space Science Division, Penn State, and IBM Research build and refine analytic methodologies using iPython notebooks. These notebooks create a self-documenting repository of signal processing research that is collaboratively searched, referenced, and improved.

SETI + Spark Explore Space
SETI + Spark Explore Space

Read more about the data collected from SETI here: Here


  • Graham Mackintosh
Spark Technology Center


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