Operations News

20 Feb 2017

Day 1 of the first ever University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute (GI) HAARP campaign was a success! Thank you to the UAF GI HAARP team and especially to everybody that contributed reports by twitter and email. You were fantastic!

The HAARP campaign will continue for another three days at approximately the same times as day 1. Ionosphere conditions during day 1 were not optimal, and were characterized by relatively significant absorption of HF radio waves, meaning that much of the radio energy from HAARP was largely absorbed in the lower altitude ionosphere D region, before it could reach upper regions that are favorable for long distance propagation (DX) or high power effects such as artificial aurora or field-aligned irregularities. Note the

Still, despite the significant (solar) head winds, I can no longer keep up with and respond to all reports in real time so please keep sending them! (Hopefully ionosphere conditions will improve for days 2, 3, and 4!) My apologies for responding with some tardiness and perhaps clogging your twitter feed if you follow @ctfallen. The next campaign will be even better! (And I will work on a better way to share results from citizen scientists such as yourself.)

Stay tuned!

Visit https://twitter.com/ctfallen for more frequent updates during the campaign! (No twitter account or log-in required.)

19 Feb 2017

Note small change in frequency for the Luxembourg Effect! Now 2.8 and 3.3 MHz. Still planning to start between 0300 and 0330 UTC. Morning (local Alaska time) experiments scrubbed due to high ionosphere absorption.

19 Feb 2017

Campaign time! Experiments begin in the mid morning 19 February Alaska Standard Time (AKST) and continue intermittently through the evening each day through 22 February.

Luxembourg Broadcast

The first radio modification of the ionosphere occurred in the early 1930s and was an accidental consequence of the new and powerful Radio Luxembourg transmitter. In certain situations, listeners of other weaker broadcast radio stations found that they sometimes heard Radio Luxembourg programming even though it was transmitted on a completely different frequency. Scientists and engineers eventually concluded that signals from powerful Radio Luxembourg and less powerful stations were being mixed in space, that is, through ionosphere modification.

HAARP will transmit a sequence of tones and music using amplitude modulation (AM) on two different radio frequencies (2.8 MHz and 3.3 MHz) in a sort of reproduction of this so-called Luxembourg Effect. If conditions are sufficient and you tune-in to one frequency or the other, you will hear tones and music from both frequencies. The tones and music have been specifically composed to take advantage of the Luxembourg effect.

The Luxembourg broadcast will begin as early as 6 p.m. on 19 and 20 February Alaska Standard Time (AKST) and conclude by 6:40 p.m. In Coordinate Universal Time (UTC), the broadcasts will begin as early as 03:00 on 20 and 21 February and conclude by 03:40. Tune in to 2.8 MHz or 3.3 MHz (2700 KHz or 3300 KHz), or both! The program is approximately 10 minutes in duration and will repeat until 6:40 p.m. AKST or 03:40 UTC.

Artificial Aurora

Aurora photographers in Alaska, Yukon Territory, and northwest British Columbia have a chance to photograph artificial aurora created with HAARP, starting immediately after the Luxembourg Broadcast and continuing until the ionosphere critical frequency over Gakona drops below about 2.7 MHz. See the artificial aurora page on this site for more details on this effect.

Radio listeners can still tune-in to these operations, but the transmissions are slightly more complex in order to test a scientific hypothesis. Also, at least in these initial experiments, the broadcast will only sound like a silent carrier wave, as if a radio DJ fell asleep and neglected to change the record (or now, more likely, the digital file). The specific transmission sequence is as follows:

MAIN: Repeat the following 480 second sequence if foF2 > 2.80 MHz

90 seconds : 2.80 MHz

30 seconds : OFF

90 seconds : 2.80 MHz, O mode, CW modulation, MZ direction

30 seconds : OFF

90 seconds : 2.82 MHz, O mode, CW modulation, MZ direction

30 seconds : OFF

90 seconds : 2.84 MHz, O mode, CW modulation, MZ direction

30 seconds : OFF

BACKUP: Repeat the following 240 second sequence if foF2 < 2.80 MHz

90 seconds : 2.75 MHz

30 seconds : OFF

90 seconds : 2.75 MHz

30 seconds : OFF

19 Feb 2017

If you want to try and tune in to the HAARP transmissions but do not have a shortwave radio (or even if you do) try one of the free web radios at the sites now listed in the Tune-In page! Thank you, Harry et al. for the links!

18 Feb 2017

Alaska listeners: No shortwave radio? I hear the CC Crane Skywave is a great inexpensive radio stocked at the REI Anchorage and Fairbanks locations. Thanks for the REI tip, JH!

18 Feb 2017

Several new updates:

  • The HAARP campaign will run from 19-22 February, with operations occurring between approximately 0900 hours to 2200 hours Alaska Standard Time (AKST). Exact times, transmit frequencies, and experiment modes are subject to change in response to a variety of factors and selected updates will be posted via social media outlets.
  • My artificial airglow and Luxembourg effect experiments will start at 1930 hours AKST on 19, 20, and 22 February; and at 2030 hours on 21 February. Anticipated operating frequencies from recent ionosphere conditions are around 2.7 MHz for the airglow experiments; and 2.7 simultaneous with 3.3 MHz for the Luxembourg broadcasts. The Luxembourg broadcasts will likely occur earlier in the window rather than later, due to recent rapid ionosphere decay with sunset.
  • New updates to the Tune-In page thanks to reader contributions. See new links to previous HAARP recordings and a new shortwave radio recommendation!
  • Thank you for your interest and your letters! I would like to send updates and replies more frequently but science is hard and time is short. Stay tuned!

17 Feb 2017

HAARP nominally transmits at a frequency between 2.7 and 10 MHz (sometimes two simultaneous frequencies), except at frequencies prohibited by law. Prohibited frequencies in the HAARP band include the FCC Ham 80 and 40 meter bands. See the ARRL for more information about ham radio in the US. Also, big thanks to Rick Lindquist (WW1ME) for his excellent contributions to the ARRL Letter, including previous stories on HAARP over the years and now this latest story on the upcoming campaign: Alaska's HAARP Facility Once Again Open for Business.

16 Feb 2017

The ionosphere is looking a little weak today with some signs of absorption. See the latest ionogram from HAARP below. (Note the near-complete lack of a double-hop echos and the green X-mode trace that is beginning to disappear at low at frequencies from the left.) These are relatively typical conditions as we head toward another solar minimum during an exceptionally quiet era of solar activity. I'm sure conditions will be great for the campaign though! (Fingers crossed.)

15 February 2017

Clouds over Poker Flat Research Range have made it difficult to verify that the low-light camera is aimed at the HAARP airglow spot. The camera is intended to be aimed at 165 degrees azimuth and 32 degrees elevation. Based on the Google Earth view and a video frame recorded during a break in the clouds (see below), it looks as though the camera should be aimed a few more degrees east, perhaps 162 or 163 degrees azimuth, but this might have to do for now! Observers near Fairbanks should continue to monitor the Poker Flat Research Range Facebook Page for updates on the upcoming rocket launches. (The main launches should be easily viewable from Fairbanks.)

13 February 2017

Press release from UAF (10 Feb 2017) about the upcoming HAARP campaign. This will be the first HAARP campaign operated by UAF.

12 February 2017

Historically low solar activity continues, resulting in an ionosphere that has less plasma content than usual. The ionosonde instrument at HAARP measures the ionosphere plasma density overhead and helps scientists plan their experiments. Most (but not all) ionosphere radio modification experiments such as those conducted at HAARP use transmission frequencies at or below the ionosophere critical frequency, abbreviated foF2. The plots immediately below show the recent diurnal (daily) variation of foF2 and a current ionogram (plasma number density or frequency plotted as a function of height) made at nearly midnight UTC (or 1500 hours, 3:00 p.m. AKST). Read more about the HAARP ionosonde (or digisonde) here, or navigate there via the Tune-In page.

24 January 2017

Artificial aurora experiments have historically been scheduled to begin near the start of nautical twilight: when it is dark on the ground yet the ionosphere is still sunlit and sufficiently dense for radio modification. In February at HAARP, this generally means artificial aurora experiments begin between 0400 and 0500 hours UTC (7 to 8 p.m. AKST) and last for two to three hours, or as long as the ionosphere "critical frequency" remains above about 2.7 MHz.

13 January 2017

The UAF HAARP campaign is currently scheduled for mid-to-late February during "new moon" conditions for optimal viewing of HAARP artificial airglow (aurora).

This effort is funded by NSF Award #1702328 and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.