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Communications United States

Alaska Gets 'Artificial Aurora' As HAARP Antenna Array Listens Again (hackaday.com) 69

Freshly Exhumed quotes Hackaday: The famous HAARP antenna array is to be brought back into service for experiments by the University of Alaska. Built in the 1990s for the US Air Force's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, the array is a 40-acre site containing a phased array of 180 high-frequency antennas and their associated high-power transmitters. Its purpose is to conduct research on charged particles in the upper atmosphere, but that hasn't stopped an array of bizarre conspiracy theories.
A university space physics researcher will actually create an artificial aurora starting Sunday (and continuing through Wednesday) to study how yjr atmosphere affects satellite-to-ground communications, and "observers throughout Alaska will have an opportunity to photograph the phenomenon," according to the University. "Under the right conditions, people can also listen to HAARP radio transmissions from virtually anywhere in the world using an inexpensive shortwave radio."
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Alaska Gets 'Artificial Aurora' As HAARP Antenna Array Listens Again

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  • Basic Physics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @10:49AM (#53895665)

    It seems most conspiracy theories of this sort involve a lack of understanding of basic physics. Usually it involves assuming that, because light and sound and radio energy all travel in waves that they all behave the same. I see the term "frequencies" thrown around a lot, even when describing non-oscillating direct current circuits and static electricity.

    • It seems most conspiracy theories of this sort involve a lack of understanding of basic physics.

      Indeed. Same applies to 9/11 conspiracy theories involving the physics of the planes and buildings.

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        I think you are giving the 9/11 conspiracy "theorists" too much credit, "theories" come from people and they do not spring forth from a vacuum. The general idea seems to be that one can generate a new "theory" by denying what the scientists and engineers say. There's not much thought that goes into it, it isn't as though they are confusing science and/or engineering. It is that thought at that level is beyond their interests. They are merely using the interwebs to create a personae for themselves that they

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It seems most conspiracy theories of this sort involve a lack of understanding of basic physics.

      Yes, uncertainty can lead to fear.

      Not surprising at all considering Nicola Telsa claimed he caused an earthquake using this device [wikipedia.org].

      If you believe that, then it doesn't take a giant leap to believe that HAARP's oscillations could produce similar effects.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "I see the term "frequencies" thrown around a lot, even when describing non-oscillating direct current circuits and static electricity."

      Yes, there's no frequencies when DC is turned on or off, and the super fast spike of an ESD discharge also has no frequencies... eyeroll

    • A view Russian probes got lost while flying over HAARP, I think Phobos Grunt was the most recent one. The theory is that their electronics was grilled by these high-power transmitters. This one actually makes sense though.
      • A view Russian probes got lost while flying over HAARP, I think Phobos Grunt was the most recent one. The theory is that their electronics was grilled by these high-power transmitters. This one actually makes sense though.

        This was obfuscation on the part of the Russians. According to the failure report issued by Roscosmos [planetary.org] there were other reasons, including use of non-space-qualified components that were susceptible to radiation damage, and insufficient ground testing.

    • It seems most conspiracy theories of this sort involve a lack of understanding of basic physics.

      Since when did electromagnetic waves fall under "basic physics"? Certainly there is an area somewhere between basic and advanced physics.

  • Brace for earthquakes!

    • Brace for earthquakes!

      I predict there will be dozens of earthquakes recorded worldwide on each day that they experiment with HAARP.

  • "yjr atmosphere" (Score:3, Informative)

    by neglogic ( 877820 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @11:09AM (#53895705)
    "yjr atmosphere" How does this get posted? I mean, "yjr" isn't even a word, even the browser spell checker flags that. Pitiful.
  • by ka9dgx ( 72702 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @11:11AM (#53895711) Homepage Journal

    Right there, in the Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] for the project, in list of main scientific findings (#3), is that it can be used to generate ELF (extremely low frequency) signals in the range of 0.1 Hz by modulating conductivity of the ionosphere to the already present DC flow from the solar wind. I once did the math, and concluded that this would result in turning the ionosphere into the VLF equivalent of a MASER, and the power flow there is on the order of a Terawatt (if I recall correctly). ..I believe this is what Tesla was attempting to do with his huge transmitter at Wardenclyffe.. A few megawatts could generate about a gigawatt of VLF if done right.

    Converting that VLF back to usable power, on the other hand... I have no idea how that would happen.

    • Re:A VLF maser? (Score:4, Informative)

      by jasnw ( 1913892 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @01:50PM (#53896085)
      And this is how the tin-foil-hat crowd gets its facts, from vague recollections of things that aren't really pertinent to the situation. The VLF signals generated by HAARP during various experiments were of such low power that you needed really sensitive receivers and some signals-processing skills to detect them. At no point was anything remotely close to a Terawatt of power generated.
    • Megawatts could generate terawatts, eh?

      Will a tinfoil hat block them?

      • by ka9dgx ( 72702 )

        No, megawatts of VHF could be used to modulate the conductivity of the ionosphere. If only 0.1% modulation can take place, you've gotten a Gigawatt of VLF for a few megawatts input.

        No tin foil hat required.

        • Say you did have "energy" somehow sitting around in the ionosphere? Why would it be there? It would have to be in a reflective and insulating medium. What would happen if you made that medium more conductive? The energy would turn into heat.
          • by ka9dgx ( 72702 )

            The solar wind results in a large flux of DC current, which could be modulated with help from HAARP's VHF... as they have done already. It wouldn't all get dissipated as heat.

  • HF radio... (Score:5, Informative)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Sunday February 19, 2017 @11:14AM (#53895715)
    It you want to try to listen to the radio broadcast mentioned, here's the info [google.com]:

    HAARP will transmit a sequence of tones and music using amplitude modulation (AM) on two different radio frequencies (2.7 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 2.7 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2017 @12:01PM (#53895813)
    Missing from the summary... "HAARP is a high power ionospheric research radio transmitter in Alaska, which typically transmits in the 2.7 – 10 MHz frequency region. Under the right conditions, people can also listen to HAARP radio transmissions from virtually anywhere in the world using an inexpensive shortwave radio. Exact frequencies of the transmission will not be known until shortly before the experiment begins, so follow @UAFGI on Twitter for an announcement." http://www.rtl-sdr.com/listeni... [rtl-sdr.com]
  • "Under the right conditions, people can also listen to HAARP radio transmissions from virtually anywhere in the world using an inexpensive shortwave radio."

    So this is a feature now?

    Obviously these researchers don't consider it a cancer on HF communications like we hams do.

  • Alaska seems a long way to get my Home Affordable Refinance Program request approved.

    Oh, there is another "A" in the acronym? Never mind.

  • A huge Coke banner across the sky.

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