Scientists produce densest artificial ionospheric plasma clouds

Feb 25, 2013
This is a sequence of images of the glow plasma discharge produced with transmissions at the third electron gyro harmonic using the HAARP HF transmitter, Gakona, Alaska. The third harmonic artificial glow plasma clouds were obtained with HAARP using transmissions at 4.34 megahertz (MHz). The resonant frequency yielded green line (557.7 nanometer emission) with HF on November 12, 2012, between the times of 02:26:15 to 02:26:45 GMT. Credit: Elizabeth Kendall

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory research physicists and engineers from the Plasma Physics Division, working at the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmitter facility, Gakona, Alaska, successfully produced a sustained high density plasma cloud in Earth's upper atmosphere.

"Previous artificial plasma density clouds have lifetimes of only ten minutes or less," said Paul Bernhardt, Ph.D., NRL Space Use and Plasma Section. "This higher density plasma 'ball' was sustained over one hour by the HAARP transmissions and was extinguished only after termination of the HAARP radio beam."

These glow discharges in the upper atmosphere were generated as a part of the (DARPA) sponsored Basic Research on Ionospheric Characteristics and Effects (BRIOCHE) campaign to explore ionospheric phenomena and its impact on communications and space weather.

Using the 3.6-megawatt high-frequency (HF) HAARP transmitter, the plasma clouds, or balls of plasma, are being studied for use as artificial mirrors at altitudes 50 kilometers below the natural ionosphere and are to be used for reflection of HF radar and communications signals.

Past attempts to produce enhancements have yielded densities of 4 x 105 electrons per cubic centimeter (cm3) using HF radio transmissions near the second, third and fourth harmonics of the electron cyclotron frequency. This frequency near 1.44 MHz is the rate that electrons gyrate around the Earth's magnetic field.

The NRL group succeeded in producing artificial plasma clouds with densities exceeding 9 x 105 electrons cm3 using HAARP transmissions at the sixth harmonic of the electron cyclotron frequency.

Optical images of the artificial plasma balls show that they are turbulent with dynamically changing density structures. Electrostatic waves generated by the HAARP radio transmissions are thought to be responsible for accelerating electrons to high enough energy to produce the glow discharge in the neutral atmosphere approaching altitudes of nearly170 kilometers.

The artificial clouds are detected with HF radio soundings and backscatter, ultrahigh frequency (UHF) radar backscatter, and optical imaging systems. Ground measurements of stimulated electromagnetic emissions provide evidence of the strength and frequency for the electrostatic waves that accelerated ambient electrons to ionizing velocities.

The NRL team is working with collaborators at SRI International, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Florida, and BAE Systems on this project to synthesize the observations with parametric interactions theory to develop a comprehensive theory of the generation. The next HAARP campaign, scheduled for early 2013, will include experiments to develop denser, more stable ionization clouds.

Explore further: Tandem microwave destroys hazmat, disinfects

Related Stories

NRL sensor provides critical space weather observations

Nov 03, 2009

Launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard an United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle, Oct. 18, 2009, the Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager (SSULI) developed by NRL's Space Science ...

Saturn's Giant Sponge

Feb 06, 2008

One of Saturn's rings does housecleaning, soaking up material gushing from the fountains on Saturn's tiny ice moon Enceladus, according to new observations from the Cassini spacecraft.

Recommended for you

And so they beat on, flagella against the cantilever

6 hours ago

A team of researchers at Boston University and Stanford University School of Medicine has developed a new model to study the motion patterns of bacteria in real time and to determine how these motions relate ...

Tandem microwave destroys hazmat, disinfects

9 hours ago

Dangerous materials can be destroyed, bacteria spores can be disinfected, and information can be collected that reveals the country of origin of radiological isotopes - all of this due to a commercial microwave ...

Physicists design zero-friction quantum engine

10 hours ago

(Phys.org) —In real physical processes, some energy is always lost any time work is produced. The lost energy almost always occurs due to friction, especially in processes that involve mechanical motion. ...

Cornell theorists continue the search for supersymmetry

11 hours ago

(Phys.org) —It was a breakthrough with profound implications for the world as we know it: the Higgs boson, the elementary particle that gives all other particles their mass, discovered at the Large Hadron ...

User comments : 10

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
1 / 5 (4) Feb 25, 2013
HAARP and plasma. Discussed on one page. Where are the Wolkenkuckucksheim?
Jeddy_Mctedder
1 / 5 (5) Feb 25, 2013
mirrors of plasma in the sky to create radar ghost decoys or special designed radar projectors or, deflectors or sensors. fucking genius.
jmlvu
1 / 5 (6) Feb 25, 2013
They are creating a weapon to rain radiation down on groung targets. Imaging burning a city with radiation.
am_Unition
4 / 5 (3) Feb 25, 2013
They are creating a weapon to rain radiation down on groung targets. Imaging burning a city with radiation.


I don't think you understand "radiation".

Any EM radiation strong enough to really damage humans (X-rays, Gamma rays) will shoot straight on through the ionosphere and out into space. You can only bounce radio waves off the ionosphere with any kind of efficacy. We already bathe in a sea of radio waves every day. Doing any damage to the human body with radio waves from HAARP reflecting off the ionosphere would require a huge flux... Their power source would have to be seriously upgraded.

Why bother? There are much more effective ways of killing people. :)

That said... I remember reading something about the possibility of "auroral advertising" sometime in the future.
am_Unition
not rated yet Feb 25, 2013
Any EM radiation strong enough to really damage humans (X-rays, Gamma rays) will shoot straight on through the ionosphere and out into space.


Actually, now that I think about it, it's more likely that the most energetic EM waves would be absorbed by the atmosphere. Regardless, they would *not* be reflected by any kind of plasma bubble that HAARP creates. Even when the ionosphere is heavily ionized, it only reflects waves above a certain wavelength (google "ionosphere plasma frequency"). To have a dense enough plasma to reflect x-rays?? Your electron density would need to increase by many, many orders of magnitude.

I rest my case.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 25, 2013
Where are the Wolkenkuckucksheim?

I know you like the word - but please at least use it correctly.

Wolkenkuckucksheim is an expression that is equvalent to: "castle in the sky" or "utopia" (not 'conspiracy theory' or 'crank theory' as you seem to think)
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Feb 25, 2013
Such a research has apparently military connotations - with conspiracy or without it. Only imbecile could believe, it cannot be used for military purposes.
Isaacsname
not rated yet Feb 26, 2013
Soooo...what, they are duplicating what normally happens with sporadic-E clouds in the ionosphere ?

How droll
snwboardn
not rated yet Feb 26, 2013
Such a research has apparently military connotations - with conspiracy or without it. Only imbecile could believe, it cannot be used for military purposes.


If I remember correctly the whole reason it was developed was for military applications more specifically, disrupting Russian U-boat communications.
ValeriaT
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 26, 2013
Its publishing means, this technology doesn't work at all, or they have something, which works way better already.