Forty-second edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2001 21:29:47 +0100)

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HAARP - High frequency Active Auroral Research Program

I think that Dave McAllister was the first dxer who reported the strange sounding signal on 5800 kHz. The station has been active between 11 October from 0400 UTC to 24 October at 1400 UTC. Because of a geomagnetic storm during the period 21 October 1700 UTC to about 22 October 1900 UTC, the HF reception was rather poor.

Dave thought that it might be a HAARP signal and contacted them. This is HAARP's reply to Dave's inquiry:

"Thanks for your inquiry. There is a current research effort underway at the HAARP Observatory and 5.8 MHz is one of the frequencies being used by the HF transmitter. The research campaign, which is scheduled to end after today, is studying propagation of ELF signals in the magnetosphere, the region above the ionosphere. You are probably hearing the modulation on the 5.8 MHz carrier signal. These tones are converted into independent ELF signals at the same frequency (approximately 1 - 3 kHz).
Although the primary purpose of the test is study of ELF propagation mechanisms, we are certainly interested in any technical details you can provide on the HF signal. Also, we would be happy to send you a QSL card to confirm your reception report if you like. I assume we can find your address in the call book."

Further info from the helpful people at HAARP reveals that they employ "very complex receivers in very quiet locations to listen to the weak ELF signals that are produced by HAARP's method. So far, VLF/ELF has not been detected at ranges greater than about 900 km from the HAAR facility."

Not only 5.8 MHz was used during the experiment, HAARP also used 3.2 and 3.3 MHz at various times during the research. The 3.3 MHz signal was used for brief periods at the beginning of each half hour as a diagnostic. The 3.2 MHz signal had the same modulation as the 5.8 MHz signal.

Dave asked:

"What was the rationale behind the modulation you chose? Was it simply to provide a recognizable signal in VLF, or did you expect different VLF behaviour from the different frequencies?"

Answer:

"Both. The tones were chosen so that they and their harmonics would not be multiples of each other. Several receivers were used to listen to the direct signal (E-layer downward) and for the magnetospherically propagated signal which would arrive after a delay. Timing and tone frequency selection were done to avoid having a new tone (or the harmonic of some other tone) overlap the arrival of the delayed tone from the previous transmission. Tones over a wide range of frequencies gave the experiment the potential to see a variety of possible propagation effects which are likely to be frequency dependent."

About the waveform.....

"The general waveform structure was the same during the experiment. Experimental parameters are often adjusted after looking at preliminary data so that the chances for success are improved. The "data bursts" you heard could have been part of the diagnostic or calibration signal that was transmitted periodically."

Question:

"What altitude or region of the ionosphere produces the effect (VLF propagation) you desire? Are you succeeding in 'modulating' the magnetosphere to produce this result?"

Answer:

"VLF/ELF is generated through interaction with the auroral electrojet which occurs at E-layer altitudes (about 100 km). VLF/ELF signals produced within the E-layer can propagate upward into the magnetosphere and it was the study of that propagation mechanism that was of interest in this research."

"Sure was fun 'investigating' this. What a great hobby.", says Dave with a happy smile on his face.

It sure is, Dave, it sure is :-)

Well, this is what the U.S. government would like you to believe. HAARP facilities happen to oddly undergo activity uprises when U.S. troops are likely to operate on an overseas battlefield (?).

 

See also Newsletter 47.

 


Voice stations | Morse stations | Other modes
HAARP | Scrambled comms | Propagation logger
Jammer frenzy | Intelligence news | Logs
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