UAF To Get Over $9 Million To Expand HAARP Research Project in Gakona

The National Science Foundation is giving the University of Alaska's Gakona HAARP project $9.3 million in grants to expand the facility&...

The National Science Foundation is giving the University of Alaska's Gakona HAARP project $9.3 million in grants to expand the facility's operations. 

The project was built by the military in the 1990s. It is an ionospheric research facility. In 2015, the Air Force turned the program over to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. 

"HAARP" stands for "High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program." The antenna array in Gakona is the world's highest power high-frequency transmitter studying the ionosphere. 

The "aurora" is commonly known in Alaska as "the northern lights." 

According to UAF:
The Gakona facility is a prime location for the study of the ionosphere and magnetosphere because of its location in relation to one of Earth’s magnetic field lines that reaches deep into the magnetosphere, the magnetic field that shields the planet from much of the sun’s plasma energy.

For over 25 years, UAF, the Air Force, the Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have collaborated on ionospheric research at the High-frequency Active Auroral  Research Program site. As Air Force funding for research and development decreased, the scientific community worked to find a solution to preserve this one-of-a-kind national research resource.

The university said that the facility will contribute to important work about ionospheric disturbances which "can disrupt communications systems and cause damage and outages to power grids." 

The facility studies the upper atmosphere, communications, and navigation. Its array of antennas and buildings covers 33 acres of boggy taiga on the Tok Cutoff.

No new construction is expected at the Gakona station. 


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