Special Session SS10  29 June 2020

Technosignatures: state-of-the-art and future prospects

Aims and scope

As new extrasolar worlds are routinely being discovered, there is mounting evidence that the conditions necessary for life to begin on Earth are ubiquitous in the Galaxy. Recent findings include the existence of temperate rocky exoplanets and water in exoplanetary atmospheres. This leads to consider the question as to whether life has arisen elsewhere and, if so, has it ever evolved intelligence and technology, the signs of which could be remotely detected from Earth?

The search for such "technosignatures", a part of the broad field of astrobiology, targets any detectable sign of technologically-advanced life in the cosmos. It covers a broad spectrum of research areas, ranging from the detection of artificial radio or optical emissions to the search for spectral signatures that may indicate intense energy-harvesting activities. New large scale search initiatives, such as the Breakthrough Listen project, evidence the growing interest in the search for technosignatures, recognized as a key scientific strategy for astrobiology in NASA's recently released report "Astrobiology Science Strategy for Life in the Universe".

This meeting welcomes presentations that discuss the state-of-the-art and future prospects in the search for technosignatures, including observational techniques and detection strategies, opportunities and challenges for the detection of technosignatures, the employment of big data mining techniques, as well as theoretical approaches to the detection.


  • Observational techniques and search strategies
  • Big data and AI
  • Theory and models

Invited speakers

  • Amedeo Balbi (University of Rome)
  • Ian Crawford (Birkbeck College London, UK)
  • Hector Socas-Navarro (IAC Tenerife, Spain)
  • Erik Zackrisson (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Scientific organisers

B. Villarroel (chair; Stockholms Universitet / IAC Tenerife), E. F. Keane (co-chair; SKA, Jodrell Bank, UK), D. Angerhausen (Center for Space and Habitability, Bern University, Switzerland), J. E. Enriquez (UC Berkeley, USA), M. Garrett (Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics/Leiden), C. Grimaldi (EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland)


For more information, contact beatriz.villarroel @ su.se

Updated on Thu Feb 13 17:00:26 CET 2020