‘Oumuamua and Scout ET Probes
J. Gertz (2019), JBIS, 72, pp.282-286
Numerous advantages may accrue to ET from the use of probes for the conveyance of information relative to the alternative of beaming information electromagnetically from its home star system. However, probes would benefit from a trans-galactic communications network to transmit information back to their progenitor civilization(s) and throughout the Galaxy. A model for such trans-galactic communications has previously been proposed, comprised of probes linked together by relay nodes. The current paper refines that model, specifying two types of probes or nodes, both part of a communications lattice. The first type of cellular probe (CP) is statically associated with individual stars, and the second type is a scout CP that traverses the galaxy surveying successive star systems rather than permanently residing within any one of them. CPs would communicate with adjacent CPs and, ultimately, through the network of CPs, with their progenitor civilization(s). The question of whether ‘Oumuamua is such a flyby scout CP is considered. Search strategies for CPs are suggested.