Monday, May 12, 2014

HAARP Facility May be Dismantled

HAARP was the topic of a CQ article by WB6NOA about
five years ago. The facility has since been closed down
and may be dismantled.
The US government's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, facility in Alaska may be decommissioned and torn down later this year, unless the Air Force can find a new contractor to operate the facility. The ARRL Letter, quoting the Alaska Dispatch, says the University of Alaska-Fairbanks is trying to put together a plan to save HAARP, but it currently costs about $5 million a year to run. The Air Force says current research projects there were set to wrap up in May and funds for the facility were not included in the Air Force's budget request for fiscal year 2015.

Arecibo, the world's largest radiotelescope, will soon
be home to a new ionospheric research facility.
(Photo courtesy Arecibo Observatory website)

 Meanwhile, work is under way at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on a new ionospheric research facility that would be similar in some ways to HAARP in Alaska. 

However, the ARRL Letter says the new facility would be smaller in scale and have different research goals, specifically to study interaction between HF radio energy and ionospheric plasma. It is being built by the Electrical Engineering Department of Penn State University.