Report of a Workshop
Committee on the Role of High-Power, High-Frequency-Band Transmitters in Advancing
Ionospheric/Thermospheric Research: A Workshop
Space Studies Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This report is based on work supported by Award FP30976 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Air Force Research Lab via University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and Grant No. AGS-1245566 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any views or observations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-29859-9
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-29859-8
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COMMITTEE ON THE ROLE OF HIGH-POWER, HIGH-FREQUENCY-BAND TRANSMITTERS IN ADVANCING IONOSPHERIC/THERMOSPHERIC RESEARCH: A WORKSHOP
LOUIS J. LANZEROTTI, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Chair
PAUL A. BERNHARDT, Naval Research Laboratory
HERBERT C. CARLSON, Utah State University
ANTHEA J. COSTER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
JOHN C. FOSTER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
SIXTO A. GONZALEZ, Arecibo Observatory/SRI International
DAVID L. HYSELL, Cornell University
BRETT ISHAM, Interamerican University, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
ELIZABETH A. KENDALL, SRI International
KRISTINA A. LYNCH, Dartmouth College
KONSTANTINOS (DENNIS) PAPADOPOULOS, University of Maryland
ARTHUR CHARO, Senior Program Officer, Study Director
LEWIS B. GROSWALD, Associate Program Officer
LINDA WALKER, Senior Project Assistant
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director, Space Studies Board
SPACE STUDIES BOARD
CHARLES F. KENNEL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, Chair
JOHN KLINEBERG, Space Systems/Loral (retired), Vice Chair
MARK R. ABBOTT, Oregon State University
JAMES ANDERSON, Harvard University
JAMES BAGIAN, University of Michigan
YVONNE C. BRILL, Aerospace Consultant
ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
ANDREW B. CHRISTENSEN, Dixie State College of Utah
ALAN DRESSLER, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution
THOMAS R. GAVIN, California Institute of Technology
HEIDI B. HAMMEL, AURA
FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology
JOSEPH S. HEZIR, EOP Group, Inc.
ANTHONY C. JANETOS, University of Maryland
JOAN JOHNSON-FREESE, U.S. Naval War College
ROBERT P. LIN, University of California, Berkeley
MOLLY K. MACAULEY, Resources for the Future, Inc.
JOHN F. MUSTARD, Brown University
ROBERT T. PAPPALARDO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
MARCIA J. RIEKE, University of Arizona
DAVID N. SPERGEL, Princeton University
MEENAKSHI WADHWA, Arizona State University
CLIFFORD M. WILL, University of Florida
THOMAS H. ZURBUCHEN, University of Michigan
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director
CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Administrative Coordinator
TANJA PILZAK, Manager, Program Operations
CELESTE A. NAYLOR, Information Management Associate
CHRISTINA O. SHIPMAN, Financial Officer
SANDRA WILSON, Financial Assistant
At the request of the Department of Defense (Air Force Research Laboratory) and the National Science Foundation (NSF; Directorate for Geosciences/Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences), the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council (NRC) held a workshop on May 20-21, 2013, in Washington, D.C., entitled “The Role of High-Power, High Frequency-Band Transmitters in Advancing Ionospheric/Thermospheric Research.” The workshop provided a forum for information exchange between the comparatively small group of scientists engaged in programs of upper atmospheric research using high-power, high-frequency (HF) radar transmitters (“heaters”) and the larger ITM (ionosphere-thermosphere-magnetosphere) research community. For a variety of reasons—including the different orientations of the Department of Defense, which is primarily interested in applied research related to active ionospheric modification,1 and the civil agencies, principally NSF, which have broader mandates for basic research—these communities have historically viewed themselves as being distinct with limited overlapping interests.
As indicated in the terms of reference (“statement of task”) developed by the sponsors (see Appendix A), the workshop was organized to consider the utility of heaters in upper atmospheric research in general, with a specific focus on the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmitter facility, which is located in Gakona, Alaska. The motivations for the workshop were twofold. First, the sponsors of the workshop were aware of the potential—one that became increasingly apparent during the period between project approval by the NRC in late Spring 2012 and the actual workshop in late Spring 2013—for substantial cutbacks in support by the Air Force for the continuing operation of HAARP.2 Second, NSF’s upper atmosphere research section is considering transfer to Gakona, Alaska, of the AMISR (Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar) re-locatable modular phased-array radar, located at Poker Flat, Alaska (thus, known as PFISR), for joint research campaigns with the HAARP transmitter and ancillary instruments. Although the original statement of task was never revised, the organizers were keenly aware of the increasing interest among the sponsors for focused discussions on the HAARP facility. The workshop agenda and the preponderance of discussions at the workshop reflect these interests.
The workshop agenda and a list of participants are shown in Appendixes B and C, respectively, and biographical information about the workshop organizing committee is shown in Appendix D. While the committee is responsible for the overall quality and accuracy of the report as a record of what transpired at the workshop, the views contained in the report are not necessarily those of all workshop participants, the committee, or the NRC. It should also be recognized that the report summarizes, but does not evaluate critically, the assertions made by participants of the potential utility for high-power, high-frequency transmitters or the HAARP facility. Finally, although the authors of this summary have attempted to provide context for the often highly technical discussions that took place, the summary is not intended to be a primer on heaters in general, HAARP in particular, or current issues in upper atmosphere research.
1 The use of high-power transmitters, such as the one located at the HAARP facility, to study the upper atmosphere is called “active ionospheric research.”
2 In fact, the HAARP facility ceased operations shortly after the workshop—due to pending contractor changes and an as yet unfunded need to upgrade the diesel power generators per Environmental Protection Agency regulations—and remains closed at the time of this printing.
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Umran S. Inan, Koç University, Turkey,
Larry J. Paxton, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory,
Joshua Semeter, Boston University, and
Jeffrey P. Thayer, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse any of the viewpoints or observations detailed in this report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert J. Serafin, National Center for Atmospheric Research. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.