On Tuesday, December 27, 2022, the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) conducted its latest ionospheric experiment of bouncing radio signals off an asteroid passing near Earth's orbit (see the ARRL News story from December 23, 2022).
A frosty landscape surrounds antennas at the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program site in Gakona, Alaska, on December 20, 2022. [JR Ancheta, UAF/GI, photo]
Amateur radio operators and radio astronomy enthusiasts were invited to monitor the test and send their results to HAARP for analysis. While the results of the experiment will take several weeks, Jessica Matthews, HAARP Program Manager, said the help was greatly appreciated. "So far we have received over 300 reception reports from the amateur radio and radio astronomy communities from six continents who confirmed the HAARP transmission."
HAARP officials say the results of the experiment could aid efforts to defend Earth from larger asteroids that could cause significant damage.
"We will be analyzing the data over the next few weeks and hope to publish the results in the coming months," said Mark Haynes, lead investigator on the project and a radar systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. "This experiment was the first time an asteroid observation was attempted at such low frequencies," he said. "This shows the value of HAARP as a potential future research tool for the study of near-Earth objects."
The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) operates HAARP under an agreement with the Air Force, which developed and owned HAARP but transferred the research instruments to UAF in August 2015.
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