UAF scientists ‘play the HAARP’

The HAARP facility, used for studying the upper atmosphere, lies just outside of Gakona. The facility was recently transferred from the Air Force to UAF. Photo by Todd Paris

The HAARP facility, used for studying the upper atmosphere, lies just outside of Gakona. The facility was recently transferred from the Air Force to UAF. Photo by Todd Paris

Josh Hartman / Sun Star

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) has long been speculated about by conspiracy theorists. Theories include everything from the facility controlling the weather to causing earthquakes. The research that has gone on at the HAARP Facility is much more mundane, though, according to William Bristow, a professor of electrical engineering at UAF.

Bristow will give a lecture on the history and plans for the HAARP facility on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel’s Gold Room. This lecture is titled “New frontiers in space science on the last frontier” and is sponsored by UAF’s Geophysical Institute.

“The university has this new facility that is going to contribute a lot toward the research mission of the university,” Bristow said.

The United States Air Force, the previous owners of the HAARP facility, planned to destroy the facility. However, backlash from scientists around the world postponed those plans. In the fall of 2015, the facility was transferred from the Air Force to UAF.

Studying the Earth’s ionosphere was the primary goal of HAARP when the Air Force had control of the facility. Bristow’s lecture will cover some of the research that will be going on at the facility that that it is in UAF’s hands.

HAARP is one of three facilities like it in the world, the other two being in Norway and Russia.

“It’s important that the public get a view of the kind of research that’s going on here at the Geophysical Institute,” Bristow said.

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