In late September, University of Alaska-Fairbanks researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, was attempting to produce an RF-induced airglow — or artificial aurora — using the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility near Gakona, Alaska, to warm up the atmosphere. Clouds hampered his experiment, but Fallen alerted his Twitter followers that he also had embedded a few Slow-Scan Television (SSTV) frames in the powerful HAARP signal, which were copied in British Columbia and in Colorado.
“The SSTV images, aside from being a fun way to engage hams in some of the ionosphere-heating science performed at HAARP, will be useful for understanding radio propagation from Arctic or high-latitude sources,” Fallen told ARRL.
HAARP consists of multiple transmitters feeding 180 phased-arrays and is capable of producing 3.6 MW (that’s megawatts) of RF. HAARP’s signal is essentially aimed straight up.
The assistant professor at the UAF’s Geophysical Institute transmitted two UAF logos, a photo of his cat — appearing as a giant feline next to the HAARP antenna field, and — most unusual — a QR code granting the recipient 0.001 Bitcoin. The SSTV images were not the best, and you almost need to use your imagination to make out the cat.
The first SSTV reception report arrived from Walt Salmaniw in Victoria, British Columbia, using a Perseus SDR, MixW software, and a north-directed corner fed loop. The second SSTV report arrived from Michael Coletta, KM0MMM, Pueblo, Colorado.
His transmissions were on three discrete frequencies in the 2.8 MHz range. Fallen used different frequencies and antenna phase settings to determine if those factors would affect the airglow.
“I used Scottie-1 encoding for the images, because it is widely used in North America and the ~120-second duration fit nicely into the airglow experiment,” Fallen said. “The antenna was directed toward the HAARP magnetic zenith, which, at ~75° elevation, is nearly vertical but has often been found by previous scientists to maximize artificial airglow. One factor affecting both the airglow experiment and the reception is that local foF2 had dropped below the transmission frequency of approximately 2.8 MHz at the time of the experiment.” He believes the British Columbia and Colorado reports came from the side lobes of HAARP’s primary beam.
Fallen told ARRL he still has some HAARP time left from his September campaign, although he’s not certain what he’ll use it for. His next opportunity to experiment further won’t be until early next spring. HAARP conducts just two experimental campaigns a year, due to staff and funding constraints.
DESCRIPTION Rugged Portable DC Power Management System with built-in High-Efficiency Battery Charger! > High contrast OLED display > Power manag... Read more
ORLANDO, Fla. — OrlaThe man has climbed the tower outside of the WKMG studios on John Young Parkway.ndo police have been called to a local TV station... Read more
On the evening of the 14th and the morning of the 15th of September 2019, there was a very good tropo opening on 144 MHz from the Azore Islands in the... Read more
A social media joke early this summer setting up a “Storm Area 51, they Can’t Stop Us All” group now has spiraled into emergency declarations in two N... Read more
ARRL Renews Request for FCC to Replace Symbol Rate with Bandwidth Limit In ex parte comments filed on September 17 in WT Docket 16-239, ARRL renewed i... Read more
HamSCI and the Case Amateur Radio Club of Case Western Reserve University (W8EDU) will sponsor a “Festival of Frequency Measurement” on WWV’s centenni... Read more