The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Designed and built by BAE Advanced Technologies (BAEAT), its purpose is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. The HAARP program operates a major sub-arctic facility, named the HAARP Research Station, on an Air Force–owned site near Gakona, Alaska.
The most prominent instrument at the HAARP Station is the Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI), a high-power radio frequency transmitter facility operating in the high frequency (HF) band. The IRI is used to temporarily excite a limited area of the Ionosphere. Other instruments, such as a VHF and a UHF radar, a fluxgate magnetometer, a digisonde (an ionospheric sounding device), and an induction magnetometer, are used to study the physical processes that occur in the excited region.
Work on the HAARP Station began in 1993. The current working IRI was completed in 2007, and its prime contractor was BAE Systems Advanced Technologies. As of 2008, HAARP had incurred around $250 million in tax-funded construction and operating costs. It was reported to be temporarily shut down in May 2013, awaiting a change of contractors.
As of May 2014, it has been announced that the HAARP program will be shut down later in the year.
HAARP is a target of conspiracy theorists, who claim that it is capable of modifying weather, disabling satellites and exerting mind control over people, and that it is being used as a weapon against terrorists. Such theorists have blamed the program for causing earthquakes, droughts, storms and floods, diseases such as Gulf War Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, and the 2003 destruction of the space shuttle Columbia. Commentators and scientists say that proponents of these theories are "uninformed", as most theories put forward fall well outside the abilities of the facility and often outside the scope of natural science.
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Jon Stewart wraps up tomorrow night Secret Weapon? Conspiracy Theories Abound as US Military Closes HAARP Live Science - May 23, 2014
The U.S. Air Force has notified Congress that it intends to shut down HAARP, a controversial Alaska-based research facility that studies an energetic and active region of the upper atmosphere. Conspiracy theorists are abuzz about the news, given that HAARP (short for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) has long been the center of wild speculation that the program is designed to control the weather - or worse. In 2010, Venezuelan leader Huge Chavez claimed that HAARP or a program like it triggered the Haiti earthquake. For the record, the Haitian quake of 2010 was caused by the slippage of a previously unmapped fault along the border of the Caribbean and North American tectonic plates.
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