As the centerpiece SAGO instrument, and the world’s most powerful and flexible ionospheric heater, HAARP is able to push the envelope of radio frequency plasma heating theory. The IRI can actively probe the sub-auroral D- and E-region ionosphere, while multiple support instruments characterize the resulting processes occurring in both the neutral and ionized atmosphere. Using a phased array of antennas, beams can be formed at multiple frequencies and slewed rapidly across the sky. The facility has sufficient power to explore nonlinear effects in the plasma - something no other active facility can address.

The HAARP facility was constructed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) starting in 1990, with the objective to answer questions of relevance to the DoD. When those investigations were completed, stewardship of the facility was transferred to UAF in 2015, with the intention of allowing the wider research community to benefit from its exceptional capabilities. As has been the case with other Class 1 and 2 geospace facilities (such as the Incoherent Scatter Radars), the powerful capabilities of the HAARP ionospheric heater are expected to power ground-breaking new discoveries for potentially decades to come. PARS will enhance the United States’ research infrastructure by supporting the first wave of these investigations within the open NSF research community, creating a critical mass of investigators and ideas that will seed future applications and new research focus areas.

The 2023 PARS summer school is funded by the NSF through its Geospace Facilities Program within the Geosciences Directorate and is organized by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. For more information about both SAGO and HAARP, refer to the HAARP public web page at https://haarp.gi.alaska.edu/.(external link)