Tuesday, May 11, 2021

HAARP Gets New Mission with NSF Grant

Part of the antenna field at the HAARP
facility in Alaska (U. of Alaska Fairbanks

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in Gakona, Alaska will be home to a new research facility thanks to a $9.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). According to the ARRL Letter, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute – which now runs the former military facility – will use the grant to fund the Subauroral Geophysical Observatory for Space Physics and Radio Science, which will explore the Earth's upper atmosphere.

According to the League, the grant will let scientists learn more about the relationship between the sun and the Earth's ionosphere and magnetosphere. HAARP Chief Engineer Steve Floyd, W4YHD, says amateur radio "will clearly benefit with an improved understanding of ionospheric propagation and space weather physics, and providing improved HF propagation prediction modeling data."

A second project at HAARP, also funded by the NSF, will add a LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) instrument at the facility to help study other regions of the upper atmosphere.