High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program

HAARP is the most capable high-power, high-frequency transmitter for study of the ionosphere. The principal study instrument is the Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI), a phased array of 180 HF tower antennas spread across 33 acres and capable of radiating 3.6 MW into the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Transmit frequencies are selectable in the range 2.8 to 10MHz.

HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere. Operation of the research facility was transferred from the United States Air Force to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) on Aug. 11, 2015, allowing HAARP to continue with exploration of ionospheric phenomenology via a land-use cooperative research and development agreement.

The HAARP program is committed to developing a world-class ionospheric research facility consisting of the IRI and a sophisticated suite of scientific and diagnostic instruments that can be used to observe the physical processes that occur in the excited region. Our goal is to operate the facility as a general observatory for sub-auroral physics.

Scientific instruments installed at the HAARP Observatory can also be used for a variety of continuing research efforts which do not involve the use of the IRI, but are strictly passive. These include ionospheric characterization using satellite beacons, telescopic observation of the fine structure in the aurora and documentation of long-term variations in the ozone layer.

Institution University of Alaska Fairbanks
Country United States
Infrastructure type Research station
Disciplines Physics
Earth sciences
Language of operation English
Keywords space weatherradio sciencephysicsionosphereHAARPaurora borealisaurora


The University of Alaska Fairbanks is soliciting funding and proposals to use the facility. The scientists who may conduct research there are university physicists, their students, government scientists, and scientists from commercial firms having an interest in the ionosphere and in communication and radio science theory and applications.

Several universities have played a major role in HAARP from its inception to the present time, including University of Alaska, Stanford University, Penn State University, Boston College, Dartmouth University, Cornell University, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts, MIT, University of California Los Angeles, Clemson University and the University of Tulsa

Contact information

Jessica Matthews, HAARP Program Manager, 907-474-5099, jamatthews02@alaska.edu

Bill Bristow, HAARP Chief Scientist, 907-474-7357, wabristow@alaska.edu

Find out more