I am writing to request participation of KL7AA members in a rather unique experiment involving members from KL7KC (Arctic Amateur Radio Club), a scientist in Fairbanks (that’s me), and that little shortwave radio transmitter near Gakona known as HAARP, near Gakona. We are attempting to reproduce an old propagation mode observed in the late 1990s, back in the early days of HAARP, that involved scatter of VHF from artificial plasma irregularities in the ionosphere over HAARP maintained by powerful “HF heating.” I attached an excerpt of an old QST report that, very briefly, described the original experiment that we are attempting to duplicate, with a few twists. Think of this something like “artificial radio aurora scatter” though there are some important differences.
The experiment is this: operators in Fairbanks will transmit CW at UHF frequencies TBD (~440 or 1200 MHz) toward Glennallen/Gakona throughout the HAARP campaign, occurring between the approximate hours of 1200 to 1700 local time on July 30, 31, and August 1. I hope one or more hams, far from any possible direct or ground wave propagation location (not necessarily the Anchorage region, but nearly anywhere sufficiently south of Fairbanks, say Delta Junction or Clear on down) will listen using antennas directed toward Glennallen/Gakona and, ideally, record the results for later distribution to all. This is why I am reaching out to KL7AA.
The science objective is to see if the VHF propagation via HAARP artificial ionosphere structures reported in QST can be reproduced at significant distance and at higher frequencies than VHF. We have reasons based on prior work with expensive UHF radars costing tens-of-millions-of-dollars th
at this is in the realm of possibility. (Okay, the second science objective is to see if we can perform similar though more limited observations for less than millions of dollars.)
My apologies for spamming some of your official club emails, but time is short and I do not have any ham contacts in Anchorage. I would appreciate if somebody could relay this message to the club, as appropriate. The perfect volunteer will already have a rig ready to go and can start listening (and recording) on Monday with relatively little effort. During the weekend, if willing volunteers are found, I will coordinate with frequencies to use, etc. This is a unique, though I hope not the first, opportunity to participate in HAARP science and to make a little ham history across our great state of Alaska.
Best regards and 73,
Chris Fallen, KL3WX, firstname.lastname@example.org
AARC Editor’s note: Please contact Chris directly if you are interested in helping with his experiment