The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, facility is in the midst of an extensive science campaign that will see the facility bounce signals from the moon and Jupiter.
HAARP consists of 180 antennas designed to transmit signals in the ionospherewhich extends from 30 miles (48 kilometers) to 600 miles (965 km) above sea level and is considered the area where the Earth’s atmosphere meets space, according to NASA (opens in a new tab). The ionosphere plays an important role in radio transmission because it reflects radio waves. Many satellites occupy this region of the atmosphere, which is strongly influenced by solar weather.
HAARP is in the midst of a 10-day search campaign that is “the largest and most diverse yet” at the facility, said HAARP program manager Jessica Matthews. said in a press release (opens in a new tab). Among the 13 experiments conducted during the campaign are projects that will see signals bounce off the moon and Jupiter to test HAARP’s ability to study objects far from Earth.
Related: NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): Exploring Earth’s Ionosphere
One of the most ambitious experiments conducted during HAARP’s current campaign is known as the “Jupiter Bounce” or “Interplanetary Ionosonde”. according to a statement from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) (opens in a new tab). The experiment will test HAARP’s ability to bounce signals off Jupiter’s ionosphere, while determining how well receivers at the University of New Mexico’s Long Wavelength Array can receive the reflected signals. The experiment is “the largest active remote sensing operation in history,” according to the UAF statement.
“This is a one-of-a-kind experiment (which, at least to my knowledge, has never been attempted before,” said Evans Callis, HAARP’s research support services manager. says Alaska Public Media (opens in a new tab). “We’re transmitting several different frequencies of HAARP directed at Jupiter. We’re listening to the echo coming back, and that should be able to tell us something about the electromagnetic conditions around Jupiter.”
Another experiment, known as “Moon Bounce”, will see signals bounce off the moon to receivers in New Mexico and California. These signals will be evaluated for their use in determining the composition of near-Earth asteroids for future planetary defense purposes.
Meanwhile, HAARP’s “Making the Invisible Visible” experiment will “test whether hot electrons are capable of producing the continuous (white) emissions present in STEVE airglow.” STEVE, abbreviation of Strong improvement in the speed of thermal emissionis an aurora-like phenomenon that occurs when charged particles from the Sun interact with the Earth’s ionosphere.
“If we see this air glowing and it matches the wavelength of light we see from naturally occurring STEVE, that would give us an indication that hot electrons play a role in the formation of STEVE,” Callis said.
Read more: Strange Aurora-Like Phenomenon STEVE Captured in Stunning Night Sky Shot
One of the most unique experiences, “Ghosts in the Airglow,” will blend art and atmospheric research to “play with the liminal limits of Earth’s atmosphere and outer space,” according to the project website (opens in a new tab). The experiment will use HAARP to bounce images, speech and sound art out of the ionosphere to learn more about radio propagation.
The HAARP facility was built in 1993 and originally operated by several United States military research agencies, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Office of Naval Research. In 2015, ownership of the facility was transferred to the UAF (opens in a new tab).
Although primarily used for research in the upper atmosphere, the facility has been the subject of many conspiracy theories (opens in a new tab) almost three decades since its construction. Some have accused the US government of using the facility to alter the weather, trigger earthquakes, create “chemtrails” or even to broadcast mind control signals (opens in a new tab).
To date, there is no evidence that the facility was used for mind control or anything other than atmospheric research. According to the “Frequently Asked Questions” page on the HAARP website (opens in a new tab)“Neuroscience is a complex field of study conducted by medical professionals, not HAARP scientists and researchers.”
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