The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere. Operation of the research facility was transferred from the United States Air Force to the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Aug. 11, 2015, allowing HAARP to continue with exploration of ionospheric phenomenology via a land-use cooperative research and development agreement.
HAARP is the world’s most capable high-power, high-frequency transmitter for study of the ionosphere. The HAARP program is committed to developing a world-class ionospheric research facility consisting of:
- The Ionospheric Research Instrument, a high power transmitter facility operating in the High Frequency range. The IRI can be used to temporarily excite a limited area of the ionosphere for scientific study.
- A sophisticated suite of scientific or diagnostic instruments that can be used to observe the physical processes that occur in the excited region.
Observation of the processes resulting from the use of the IRI in a controlled manner will allow scientists to better understand processes that occur continuously under the natural stimulation of the sun.
Scientific instruments installed at the HAARP Observatory can also be used for a variety of continuing research efforts which do not involve the use of the IRI but are strictly passive. These include ionospheric characterization using satellite beacons, telescopic observation of the fine structure in the aurora and documentation of long-term variations in the ozone layer.
Also see: HAARP again open for business, Alaska Science Forum, Sept. 3, 2015