Diagnostic Suite

Many passive scientific instruments at the site operate continuously to monitor the natural geomagnetic environment. In collaboration with our international and national researcher partners, we’ve made real time data collected at the site available here.

Collaborative Opportunities

The HAARP site is an ideal location for deploying synergistic instrumentation for studying radio and space physics. Investigators interested in deploying diagnostic apparatus including radio receivers and radar, lidar, optical imagers and spectrometers, and interferometers are encouraged to contact the HAARP Ionospheric and Radio Science Laboratory at UAF-GI-HAARP@alaska.edu or 907-474-1100.

 

Riometer

Riometers, or relative ionospheric opacity meters, are used for measuring radio absorption in the ionosphere. The original riometer instrument was developed at the Geophysical Institute at UAF during the 1950s. A riometer consists of a radio receiver and a directional antenna pointed directly upward. The Nagoya University (Japan) riometer at HAARP uses a broad-beam riometer made by La Jolla Sciences with an operating frequency of 30 MHz and a frequency bandwidth of 250 kHz. The riometer has a dual half-wave dipole antenna with a separation of 14 feet at more than 60 inches above the ground. Two reflectors are located 30 inches below the antennas. The antenna receives signals from radio stars throughout the galaxy; these signals are called galactic noise. When the ionosphere is relatively “clear”—that is, free from plasma density in its lower portions—the riometer picks up galactic noise to its full capacity. However, when the ionospheric plasma density is enhanced by high-energy electrons from the magnetosphere, the galactic noise becomes weaker. Scientists can then compare the relative strength of galactic noise received by the riometer to determine the level of ionospheric absorption at any given time. This data allows researchers to monitor auroral activity and other forms of ionosphere radio absorption.

Full riometer plot archive

 

Courtesy of the PWING Project and Nagoya University, Japan.
For technical information, see https://earth-planets-space.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40623-017-0745-9

 

VLF Receiver

See VLF Receiver data here

Courtesy of the PWING Project and Nagoya University, Japan.
For technical information, see https://earth-planets-space.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40623-017-0745-9

 

 

Induction Magnetometer

See Induction Magnetometer data here

Courtesy of the PWING Project and Nagoya University, Japan.
For technical information, see https://earth-planets-space.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40623-017-0745-9

 

 

Cooled CCD All-Sky Camera

See Cooled CCD All-Sky Camera data here

Courtesy of the PWING Project and Nagoya University, Japan.
For technical information, see https://earth-planets-space.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40623-017-0745-9

 

High-Speed EMCCD camera

See High-Speed EMCCD camera data here

Courtesy of the PWING Project and Nagoya University, Japan.
For technical information, see https://earth-planets-space.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40623-017-0745-9

 

Ionosonde

The ionosonde is an HF radar used to measure ionosphere conditions overhead. While most radars transmit at only one or two frequencies, the ionosonde transmits many different frequencies, typically ranging from about 1 to 20 MHz. The pulses or pings transmitted at each frequency reflect off of different ionospheric layers or altitudes, because the reflection point of each frequency depends on the density of the ionospheric plasma, which changes with altitude. This allows the ionosonde to measure how the plasma density varies at different heights overhead. This information is important at HAARP because the IRI transmits in the same frequency range, and the altitude where the IRI modifies the ionosphere depends on the plasma density altitude profile. The ionosonde is able to “see” a much larger fraction of the sky than the IRI typically modifies, so the ionosonde is mainly used at HAARP to determine the background ionosphere conditions before and during experiments. However, during certain conditions and experiments, the effects of the IRI are also apparent in the ionosonde data.

Ionosondes are widely used for basic ionosphere research, for determining real-time HF radio propagation and absorption properties, and for HF channel management. Users of ionosonde data include space and radio scientists, the U.S. Department of Defense, emergency management officials and amateur ham radio operators.

Ionosonde plot archive

 

 

 

 

Gakona Weather Station

Gakona weather station data

 
 
Seismic Station HARP

Seismic station HARP (spelled with one “A”) is one of over 400 currently operating across the state of Alaska. This instrument is one of many passive diagnostic instruments at the research station that are not connected to IRI operations. The instrument is designed to measure vibrations within the Earth. This seismic station was upgraded with state-of-the-art instrumentation in 2015 as part of the National Science Foundation’s EarthScope Transportable Array network. This sensor is sensitive enough to record an earthquake magnitude 5 or greater anywhere on Earth. The seismometer is buried 15 feet below the surface in a borehole beneath the yellow drum. The tan canister connected to the drum houses the communications equipment, data logger and power supply. Data is constantly recording and is transmitted in real time to the Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and to the EarthScope Array Network Facility at the University of California, San Diego. To learn more about earthquakes in Alaska visit earthquake.alaska.edu.

Visit the Seismic Station HARP website

 

Magnetometer

The fluxgate magnetometer at HAARP is one of a chain of sensitive devices used to measure small changes in Earth’s local magnetic field. These changes occur due to two natural processes. First, the stream of charged particles coming from the sun (the solar wind) buffets the outer reaches of our magnetic field (the magnetosphere), causing the magnetic field to oscillate, which can be detected by the magnetometer. Second, when there is an active aurora, the upper atmosphere changes from an insulator to a conductor, and strong currents flow, which cause deviations in the local magnetic field. Therefore monitoring the small changes in local magnetic fields allows scientists to monitor activities in space from the ground. The fluctuations of the magnetic field at Gakona, Alaska can be viewed in real time below.

 

This feed is provided by the Geophysical Institute Magnetometer Array. For more information and locations, visit the Geophysical Institute's magnetometer page.

 

Wrangell Webcam

View images and video from the Wrangell webcam

 

NASA Radio JOVE

Under construction.

 

Aurora Activity

See the full aurora forecast

Aurora Activity

 

KP Index