taktent: a simulator package for testing SETI observational strategies
This Python package allows the user to setup and run an agent-based simulation of a SETI survey. The package allows the creation of a population of observing and transmitting civilisations. Each transmitter and observer conducts their activities (pointing and broadcasting) according to an input strategy. The success of observers and transmitters can then be recorded, and multiple simulations can be run for Monte Carlo Realisation.
This package is therefore a flexible framework in which to simulate and test different SETI strategies, both as an Observer and as a Transmitter. It is primarily designed with radio SETI in mind, but is sufficiently flexible to simulate all forms of electromagnetic SETI, and potentially neutrino and gravitational wave SETI.
If you want to use this in a publication, please get in touch with me!
Object-oriented, agent-driven simulation of Observers and Transmitters
Generates agents spatially distributed in random cubes, random spheres and the Galactic Habitable Zone
Simulates continuous and pulsing broadcasts at a defined beam-size
Permits transmission/observation strategies as a smooth scan across the sky, or as a series of discrete pointings
Accounts for Doppler drift due to transmitters/observers orbiting a host star
Accounts for signal travel time
Generates maps of the sky as seen from Observers' point of view
Current presets optimised for electromagnetic signals - can be configured for signals of arbitrary speed and decay behaviour (gravitational waves, neutrinos)
Interstellar scintillation/absorption/dispersion, other forms of noise
Sampling of planetary orbits from exoplanet data
Plotting library for output MCR data
Polarisation modelling - parameters included but not implemented in detections
This package is hosted on PyPI. To install with pip:
> pip install taktent
The code has been developed in Python 3.6, using numpy 1.14.3 and matplotlib 2.2.2, and hence requires these for basic operation.
If the user wishes to generate all-sky maps for their Observer objects, this will also require
mpl_toolkits.basemap to be installed. This is an optional requirement, and the package will function without it (producing field-of-view maps instead).
Examples of Use
Examples of how to use
taktent to set up and conduct SETI simulations can be found in the
The "natural" physical units of the package are:
distance -- parsecs
time -- years
speed -- parsecs/year
frequency -- Hertz
Power -- Watts
Flux/Sensitivity -- Watts m^-2
How to Contribute
CONTRIBUTING.md for details
The package contains several modules defining six fundamental classes:
Vector3D - a 3D cartesian vector class
Agent - a generic agent base class
`Transmitter(Agent)` - a transmitting civilisation `Observer(Agent)` - an observing civilisation
Strategy - a base class that defines generic targeting behaviour of an agent as a function of time
`PointingStrategy(Strategy)` - A discrete pointing strategy (defined by a list of target vectors) `scanningStrategy(Strategy)` - A continuous pointing strategy (defined by a target vector function)
Population - a class that defines the combined population of Transmitters and Observers, and drives the simulation
Creating a Simulation
The basic procedure for creating simulations is as follows:
- Create a
Transmitterobjects (either manually or using methods in
- Generate an
- Run the simulation (with data recorded in the
Monte Carlo Realisation simulations can then be run by repeating steps 1-5 as many times as necessary.
The name "taktent" is derived from the Scots phrase "tak tent o' the sma things", which translates as "pay attention to the little things"