The HAARP Facility Shuts Down!?*
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) — a subject of fascination for many hams and the target of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists — has closed down. HAARP’s program manager, Dr James Keeney at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, told ARRL that the sprawling 35-acre ionospheric research facility in remote Gakona, Alaska, has been shuttered since early May.
“Currently the site is abandoned,” he said. “It comes down to money. We don’t have any.”
Keeney said no one is on site, access roads are blocked, buildings are chained and the power turned off. HAARP’s website through the University of Alaska no longer is available; Keeney said the program can’t afford to pay for the service. “Everything is in secure mode,” he said, adding that it will stay that way at least for another 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime a new prime contractor will be coming on board to run the government owned-contractor operated (GOCO) facility.
HAARP put the world on notice two years ago that it would be shutting down and did not submit a budget request for FY 15, Keeney said, “but no one paid any attention.” Now, he says, they’re complaining. “People came unglued,” Keeney said, noting that he’s already had inquiries from Congress. Universities that depended upon HAARP research grants also are upset, he said.
The only bright spot on HAARP’s horizon right now is that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is expected on site as a client to finish up some research this fall and winter. DARPA has nearly $8.8 million in its FY 14 budget plan to research “physical aspects of natural phenomena such as magnetospheric sub-storms, fire, lightning and geo-physical phenomena.”
The proximate cause of HAARP’s early May shutdown was less fiscal than environmental, Keeney said. As he explained it, the diesel generators on site no longer pass Clean Air Act muster. Repairing them to meet EPA standards will run $800,000. Beyond that, he said, it costs $300,000 a month just to keep the facility open and $500,000 to run it at full capacity for 10 days.
Jointly funded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and the US Naval Research Laboratory, HAARP is an ionospheric research facility. Its best-known apparatus is its 3.6 MW HF (approximately 3 to 10 MHz) ionospheric research instrument (IRI), feeding an extensive system of 180 gain antennas and used to “excite” sections of the ionosphere. Other onsite equipment is used to evaluate the effects.
Larry Ledlow, N1TX, of Fairbanks, Alaska, said HAARP ionosonde and riometer data have been “invaluable, especially being more or less local, to understand current conditions in the high latitudes.” He said data from other sites “simply do not accurately reflect the unique propagation we endure here.”
To fill the gap, Ledlow said, several members of the Arctic Amateur Radio Club — including Eric Nichols, KL7AJ, author of Radio Science for the Radio Amateur and articles in QST — have discussed building their own instruments. “It’s all very preliminary,” he said, “but we really feel the pinch losing HAARP.” Nichols, of North Pole, Alaska, has conducted experiments at HAARP. He called the shutdown “a great loss to interior Alaska hams and many others.”
The ultra-high power facility long has intrigued hams, even outside of Alaska. In 1997, HAARP transmitted test signals on HF (3.4 MHz and 6.99 MHz) and solicited reports from hams and short-wave listeners in the “Lower 48” to determine how well the HAARP transmissions could be heard to the south. In 2007 HAARP succeeded in bouncing a 40 meter signal off the moon. Earlier this year, HAARP scientists successfully produced a sustained high-density plasma cloud in Earth’s upper atmosphere.
As things stand, the Air Force has possession for now, but if no other agency steps forward to take over HAARP, the unique facility will be dismantled, Keeney said. He pointed out that it would cost less to bulldoze the antenna field than it would to replace the 180 antennas.
Splashy web postings abound, blaming HAARP for controlling the weather — most recently in the case of Hurricane Sandy and the spate of tornados — and for causing other natural disasters. Quipped Keeney, “If I actually could affect the weather, I’d keep it open.”
Too Good to be True!
By Brian Dodson
According to HAARP program manager James Keeney, the facility is only temporarily off the air while operating contractors are changed. [the question here is who are/will be the ‘operating contractors’]
HAARP was established in 1993 by the US Air Force, the US Navy, DARPA, and the University of Alaska. Located outside of Gakona, Alaska, the facility houses a high frequency (HF) transmitter together with a phased-array antenna to focus and direct the radiated RF power. The transmitter is roughly as powerful as the largest military radars, generating up to 3.6 MW of RF power in the 2.8 to 10 MHz band. HAARP is restricted to operations only at specified frequencies in this band.
The power isn’t what makes HAARP different. Rather, the credit for that goes to HAARP’s phased array antenna. Consisting of 180 individual dipole antennas placed in a field roughly 13 hectares (33 acres) in size, this antenna array acts as a highly directional antenna, with a beamwidth of about five degrees. By the time the RF energy reaches the ionosphere (say, at an altitude of 200 km /124 mi just for this example), the size of the radiated spot is about 18 km (11 mi) in diameter, and the power density is roughly 14 mW/sq m. As the ionosphere is opaque in HAARP’s frequency band, it absorbs nearly all of the incident power.
HAARP is located where large natural electrical currents flow through the atmosphere. This auroral electrojet flows from the position of the Sun at noon to the position of the Sun at midnight in the north and south polar regions of the ionosphere. The flowing currents circle the poles, rather than passing over them, and may be thought of as sheets of current with a typical current density of 1-2 amperes per meter.
Mind control and earthquakes
Getting back to the conspiracy theories for a moment, these come in a plethora of bizarre and unfounded varieties. To name just a few, HAARP is accused of triggering earthquakes by lifting the ionosphere over a tectonically active region, then letting it fall so that the pressure wave will trigger the earthquake. There are two problems with this. First, HAARP is pretty well limited to heating the ionosphere directly over its physical location. Second, a falling object can at best deliver the energy that went into lifting it. As we know that energy was delivered via a 3.6 MW RF beam, it seems incredibly unlikely that an earthquake could be triggered by turning off HAARP. [unlikely, but impossible?]
Mind control is also supposed to be within HAARP’s capabilities. This would be accomplished by altering the 7.8 Hz Schumann resonance, which is the Earth’s lowest frequency electromagnetic resonance. After stating as fact a totally evidence-free relationship between life itself and the Schumann resonance, one conspiracy theorist says that “1,700 billion watts” will apparently drive HAARP’s mind-altering effect. That is a rather remarkable claim, as HAARP’s maximum power is about one-five-hundred-thousandth of that amount. And don’t forget the claim that HAARP caused Hurricane Sandy, triggered massive tornado activity, and brought down the Twin Towers on 9/11. Personally, I don’t intend to lose much sleep over the dark side of HAARP.
According to HAARP program manager James Keeney, the “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is expected on site as a client to finish up some research in fall 2013 and winter 2014.” The temporary shutdown was described as being due to “a contractor regime change.” The Alaska Native corporation Ahtna, Incorporated is reportedly in talks to take over the facility administration contract from Marsh Creek, LLC. I am sure that the new operators will continue to keep us in touch with what really happens at HAARP.
N.B. The US Central Intelligence Agency is reportedly funding a study into how to control the weather by funding part of a $630,000, 21-month study into the science of modifying the climate, known as geo-engineering.
|Project Title:||Geoengineering Climate: Technical Evaluation and Discussion of Impacts|
|Major Unit:||Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division on Earth and Life Studies
|Sub Unit:||Board on Environmental Change and Society
Ocean Studies Board
Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate
|Subject/Focus Area:||Earth Sciences; Engineering and Technology|
The project has support from the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. intelligence community, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The approximate start date for the project is March 2013; a report is expected be issued in fall 2014.