High Frequency Active Aurora Research Program - Light Detection and Ranging System

Updated Thursday, July 17, 2008

HAARP Graphic

HAARP Graphic

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The HAARP Research Station is located on property owned by the U.S. Air Force and is jointly managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research. The site location of the HAARP Research Station was chosen to take advantage of specific ionospheric features found in limited geographic regions of the world The occurrence of these features(like the auroral electrojet) cannot be predicted on a daily or even hourly basis. Experiments of opportunity address the study of these features by standing by to conduct the experiment should conditions become favorable. Preparations may occur on consecutive days for two weeks at a time even though experiments may be conducted on only one or two occasions or not at all.

The goal of the research to be conducted at the HAARP facility is to improve the general knowledge of ionospheric effects on military and civilian communication and navigation systems. The type of research to be conducted falls into two categories: (1) Active or interactive research requiring the use of a high power, HF transmitter system (Ionospheric Research Instrument-IRI) and (2) Passive research involving monitoring instruments only. The later activity does not require use of high power emitters. Interactive ionospheric research, which can be conducted through the use of a high power transmitter, is currently being conducted in the lower 48 and other countries at similar facilities.

Although the HF transmitter has been designed and constructed to suppress out-of-band electromagnetic (EM) radiation, at sufficiently close ranges to the HF antennas used for this research, radio interference to aircraft systems may be possible within 5 nautical mile radius and up to an altitude of 50,000 feet. The IRI is a fixed system and the field strengths associated with its antenna system decreases in a known, methodical manner with absolute distance from the antenna. The rate of decrease is inverse to distance and the strength drops rapidly to levels typical of those encountered in the vicinity of AM/FM/TV broadcast stations.

An aircraft alert radar will be used to monitor the airspace within 5 nautical mile radius of the HAARP site, located at milepost 11.3 Tok Highway, during all research operations involving the high power HF transmitter system. The video display for this radar is located immediately adjacent to the control operator position for the HF transmitter in the operations control center. A dedicated operator will be assigned to monitor the radar display. All aircraft transitioning near the HAARP site will be allowed to do so without risk from the research operations. No operation of the IRI will occur while aircraft are detected within 5 nautical miles.

Aircraft can contact the HAARP Test Director on VHF frequency 122.25 to ensure their safe transition around the site or to get current project status. The HAARP Test Director can also be reached at (907) 822-5521.

Other Links: HAARP Website at: http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/