Many listeners were able to copy signals from Alaska’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) early on February 20 (UTC). The facility has begun its first scientific research campaign since being taken over by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute 18 months ago. UAF Space Physics Group Assistant Research Professor Chris Fallen, KL3WX, said the Twitter and e-mail feedback from his first evening’s run has been “fantastic.” Fallen will fire up the powerful HAARP transmitters again on February 21 starting at 0300 UTC (the evening of February 20 in US time zones) with a few tweaks.
“I may adjust the frequency to 2.83 MHz and 3.33 MHz, but generally it will be 2.8-ish and 3.3-ish either way,” he told ARRL.
Fallen is starting and stopping each experiment block with an audio broadcast, transmitting AM carriers on or about 2.8 and 3.3 MHz, with the resulting skywave signal — the “Luxembourg Effect” — being a mix of both frequencies. He has transmitted a simple piece of music, composed locally, specifically to help demonstrate the Luxembourg effect. Fallen said he got reports on the first evening from Georgia, Michigan, British Columbia, Southern California, and Finland — among other locations.
“The CW artificial aurora experiment that follows (weather dependent) is 90 seconds on, 30 seconds off, with the following sequence: 2.80, 2.80, 2.82, 2.84 MHz,” Fallen said. “The ionosphere has been looking ratty all day, so I do not have much hope for the artificial aurora experiments.”
He said his Twitter feed (@ctfallen) has included “a lot of great waterfalls, videos, and audio by hams and SWLers. It’s quite an event, of sorts.”
Fallen is working under a National Science Foundation grant. He’s posting additional information on his “Gakona HAARPoon 2017” blog. He points out that exact times, transmit frequencies, and experiment modes “are subject to change in response to a variety of factors.” Selected updates will be posted via Twitter.
Fallen encourages radio amateurs and SWLs to record the events they hear and post reports to social media or e-mail him.