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|Air Traffic Incident
Haarp is an obfuscation acronym for a military project designed to inject massive amounts radio frequency power into the earth's geomagnetic field at a critical geographic trigger point. According to the patent on this device it has potential as a weapon for jamming communications 'over a very large portion of the earth' and 'destroying' aircraft. At a meeting in anchorage, alaska with the FAA on september 1994 the haarp project office people displayed slides that said the transmitter power would be 3500000 watts and the antenna gain would be 29 decibels. The haarp antenna will concentrate transmitter power by a factor of 794 times to produce an effective radiated power of 2779000000 watts. It was said the frequencys used will be from about 2.5 to 10 megahertz and the antenna will point upward in a cone with a 30 degree generating angle. Haarp presently is being built at glenn allen, alaska. There has been considerable speculation about the effects of such a pwrful radio source on a range of aircraft avionics (aircraft electronic equipment), and this includes GPS (global positioning satellite) avionics. According to an article in a professional pilots magazine there have been a number of incidents of presumed radio frequency interference (RFI) to aircraft which have caused severe problems to aircraft. This sort of report triggered the FAA to attempt to propose a radio frequency interference rejection standard for aircraft. It was anticipated by FAA that if an electronic device was tested to some high electromagnetic field level then any lower level would be safe for aircraft. One relatively arbitrary choice for this testing field strength was 100 volts per meter. Presumably manufacturers would be allowed to RFI 'harden' their equipment to pass this test. This standard, to my knowledge, has never been imposed on any manufacturer of civilian aircraft avionics or GPS receivers. Remarkably this test level was selected by the haarp project as a 'safe' level since it was implied by the FAA that this 'was' a standard. Again, this is not a FAA test standard at present, andit has not been imposed on manufacturers. I could not find one piece of GPS equipment that had been RFI hardened and tested to the proposed standard. Existing and presently accepted standards for civilian electronics suggest safe levels as low as 1, 3, 5, or 10 volts per meter. Remember 100 volts per meter is the 'safe' level used by haarp, but this is a level only safe for tested GPS receivers. Today's civilian aircraft avionics like GPS, LORAN, flight control computers (fly-by- wire), etc simply are not yet shielded from 100 volt per meter RFI and new composite aircraft do even less self shielding. As a practical matter this means that since the true safe RFI level is unknown. The actual safe area around haarp is totally unknown, moreover it could be different for each receiver and individual aircraft. GPS receivers depend entirely on internal computers to calculate the range from each satellite and to continuously convert this into aircraft position information. The computers also store navigation information such as 'waypoints' and satellite coordinates data. It has been demonstrated that radio frequency fields will cause either complete or partial jamming of computers. That is the computer may be totally incapacitated, or it may have various internal commands or memories corrupted. Such corruption of data is hard to find after a crash because the circuits retain no memory under such conditions. Dual GPS units are no protection because what happens to one GPS will likely happen to the other, just because they are identical. Possibly RFI data corruption happened to flight when it missed a waypoint and strayed into russia and was shot down, but we will never know. However, loss of computer memory due to RFI has been demonstrated. Moreover such computer memory errors are insidious since they may only show up hours later when the essential, but corrupted, data is recalled into the computer algorithm. The highest haarp frequency is about 10 MHZ or less than 1/100TH part of the GPS operating frequency. Quality filters will be used on the haarp transmitters to prevent direct harmonic energy from being received. Harmonics can be generated by high power radio frequency signals interacting with 'natural' diodes formed by corroded antenna parts, adjacent fence wire joints, etc. 'Hurricane fences' are particularly bad in this respect. However, I could believe from my experience with super power transmitters on haarp's frequencys that GPS direct harmonic interference probably will not occur since the harmonic number is very high. There are a number of other ways haarp may cause interference to GPS. GPS satellites exist in space and must transmit their signals through the earth's magnetosphere and auroral belts to the user's aircraft. Distortion of the radio wave path can change the length of the signal path. When the path changes the GPS receiver can still read out data with great precision (lots of digits), but no real accuracy (a true location). Haarp is specifically intended to modify electrical conditions between the GPS satellite and the users receiver according to the patent. According to a number of sources the resulting inhomogeneity in the ionosphere and atmosphere may cause signal scintillation and other deleterious effects. If haarp does not jam GPS it will not be deemed a successful weapon according to the patent. Consequently, a pilot depending on GPS anywhere the 2 signal paths intersect would probably be wise to use a non electronic navigational back-up. The haarp proposed 100 volt per meter contour appears to have no validity. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporter is an alaska region FAA engineer involved in the design of the existing satellite system. He is a pilot, a physicist, and an engineer. His associates suggested he send to ASRS the draft which was the substance of the report. When do you expect haarp will be fired up? 'Rumor is that the system is being tested now. However, no one seems to be able to find out.' what would be the effects of the RFI? 'The haarp transmits in the 3-8 megahertz range, which does not effect the transmission of the GPS signal which is in the 1 pt GHZ (gigahertz) range: but, it effects the computers in the GPS by installing wrong waypoints, destroying memory, inserting bits, and locking up in some cases the computer. Doesn't the FCC control this? 'The FCC gave up control of radio frequency interference (RFI) standards when the electronics bombarded the market from all around the world. A laptop computer emits an RFI in the gigahertz range.' the whole point is the GPS is a wonderful tool: but, the limitations must be addressed and we do not know what they are yet.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: RADIO FREQ INTERFERENCE (RFI) MAY BE A PROB TO FLY BY WIRE, GPS, AND A VARIETY OF AVIATION ELECTRONICS.
Narrative: HAARP IS AN OBFUSCATION ACRONYM FOR A MIL PROJECT DESIGNED TO INJECT MASSIVE AMOUNTS RADIO FREQ PWR INTO THE EARTH'S GEOMAGNETIC FIELD AT A CRITICAL GEOGRAPHIC TRIGGER POINT. ACCORDING TO THE PATENT ON THIS DEVICE IT HAS POTENTIAL AS A WEAPON FOR JAMMING COMS 'OVER A VERY LARGE PORTION OF THE EARTH' AND 'DESTROYING' ACFT. AT A MEETING IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA WITH THE FAA ON SEPTEMBER 1994 THE HAARP PROJECT OFFICE PEOPLE DISPLAYED SLIDES THAT SAID THE XMITTER PWR WOULD BE 3500000 WATTS AND THE ANTENNA GAIN WOULD BE 29 DECIBELS. THE HAARP ANTENNA WILL CONCENTRATE XMITTER PWR BY A FACTOR OF 794 TIMES TO PRODUCE AN EFFECTIVE RADIATED PWR OF 2779000000 WATTS. IT WAS SAID THE FREQS USED WILL BE FROM ABOUT 2.5 TO 10 MEGAHERTZ AND THE ANTENNA WILL POINT UPWARD IN A CONE WITH A 30 DEG GENERATING ANGLE. HAARP PRESENTLY IS BEING BUILT AT GLENN ALLEN, ALASKA. THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERABLE SPECULATION ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF SUCH A PWRFUL RADIO SOURCE ON A RANGE OF ACFT AVIONICS (ACFT ELECTRONIC EQUIP), AND THIS INCLUDES GPS (GLOBAL POSITIONING SATELLITE) AVIONICS. ACCORDING TO AN ARTICLE IN A PROFESSIONAL PLTS MAGAZINE THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF INCIDENTS OF PRESUMED RADIO FREQ INTERFERENCE (RFI) TO ACFT WHICH HAVE CAUSED SEVERE PROBS TO ACFT. THIS SORT OF RPT TRIGGERED THE FAA TO ATTEMPT TO PROPOSE A RADIO FREQ INTERFERENCE REJECTION STANDARD FOR ACFT. IT WAS ANTICIPATED BY FAA THAT IF AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE WAS TESTED TO SOME HIGH ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD LEVEL THEN ANY LOWER LEVEL WOULD BE SAFE FOR ACFT. ONE RELATIVELY ARBITRARY CHOICE FOR THIS TESTING FIELD STRENGTH WAS 100 VOLTS PER METER. PRESUMABLY MANUFACTURERS WOULD BE ALLOWED TO RFI 'HARDEN' THEIR EQUIP TO PASS THIS TEST. THIS STANDARD, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, HAS NEVER BEEN IMPOSED ON ANY MANUFACTURER OF CIVILIAN ACFT AVIONICS OR GPS RECEIVERS. REMARKABLY THIS TEST LEVEL WAS SELECTED BY THE HAARP PROJECT AS A 'SAFE' LEVEL SINCE IT WAS IMPLIED BY THE FAA THAT THIS 'WAS' A STANDARD. AGAIN, THIS IS NOT A FAA TEST STANDARD AT PRESENT, ANDIT HAS NOT BEEN IMPOSED ON MANUFACTURERS. I COULD NOT FIND ONE PIECE OF GPS EQUIP THAT HAD BEEN RFI HARDENED AND TESTED TO THE PROPOSED STANDARD. EXISTING AND PRESENTLY ACCEPTED STANDARDS FOR CIVILIAN ELECTRONICS SUGGEST SAFE LEVELS AS LOW AS 1, 3, 5, OR 10 VOLTS PER METER. REMEMBER 100 VOLTS PER METER IS THE 'SAFE' LEVEL USED BY HAARP, BUT THIS IS A LEVEL ONLY SAFE FOR TESTED GPS RECEIVERS. TODAY'S CIVILIAN ACFT AVIONICS LIKE GPS, LORAN, FLT CTL COMPUTERS (FLY-BY- WIRE), ETC SIMPLY ARE NOT YET SHIELDED FROM 100 VOLT PER METER RFI AND NEW COMPOSITE ACFT DO EVEN LESS SELF SHIELDING. AS A PRACTICAL MATTER THIS MEANS THAT SINCE THE TRUE SAFE RFI LEVEL IS UNKNOWN. THE ACTUAL SAFE AREA AROUND HAARP IS TOTALLY UNKNOWN, MOREOVER IT COULD BE DIFFERENT FOR EACH RECEIVER AND INDIVIDUAL ACFT. GPS RECEIVERS DEPEND ENTIRELY ON INTERNAL COMPUTERS TO CALCULATE THE RANGE FROM EACH SATELLITE AND TO CONTINUOUSLY CONVERT THIS INTO ACFT POS INFO. THE COMPUTERS ALSO STORE NAV INFO SUCH AS 'WAYPOINTS' AND SATELLITE COORDINATES DATA. IT HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED THAT RADIO FREQ FIELDS WILL CAUSE EITHER COMPLETE OR PARTIAL JAMMING OF COMPUTERS. THAT IS THE COMPUTER MAY BE TOTALLY INCAPACITATED, OR IT MAY HAVE VARIOUS INTERNAL COMMANDS OR MEMORIES CORRUPTED. SUCH CORRUPTION OF DATA IS HARD TO FIND AFTER A CRASH BECAUSE THE CIRCUITS RETAIN NO MEMORY UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS. DUAL GPS UNITS ARE NO PROTECTION BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENS TO ONE GPS WILL LIKELY HAPPEN TO THE OTHER, JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE IDENTICAL. POSSIBLY RFI DATA CORRUPTION HAPPENED TO FLT WHEN IT MISSED A WAYPOINT AND STRAYED INTO RUSSIA AND WAS SHOT DOWN, BUT WE WILL NEVER KNOW. HOWEVER, LOSS OF COMPUTER MEMORY DUE TO RFI HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED. MOREOVER SUCH COMPUTER MEMORY ERRORS ARE INSIDIOUS SINCE THEY MAY ONLY SHOW UP HRS LATER WHEN THE ESSENTIAL, BUT CORRUPTED, DATA IS RECALLED INTO THE COMPUTER ALGORITHM. THE HIGHEST HAARP FREQ IS ABOUT 10 MHZ OR LESS THAN 1/100TH PART OF THE GPS OPERATING FREQ. QUALITY FILTERS WILL BE USED ON THE HAARP XMITTERS TO PREVENT DIRECT HARMONIC ENERGY FROM BEING RECEIVED. HARMONICS CAN BE GENERATED BY HIGH PWR RADIO FREQ SIGNALS INTERACTING WITH 'NATURAL' DIODES FORMED BY CORRODED ANTENNA PARTS, ADJACENT FENCE WIRE JOINTS, ETC. 'HURRICANE FENCES' ARE PARTICULARLY BAD IN THIS RESPECT. HOWEVER, I COULD BELIEVE FROM MY EXPERIENCE WITH SUPER PWR XMITTERS ON HAARP'S FREQS THAT GPS DIRECT HARMONIC INTERFERENCE PROBABLY WILL NOT OCCUR SINCE THE HARMONIC NUMBER IS VERY HIGH. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER WAYS HAARP MAY CAUSE INTERFERENCE TO GPS. GPS SATELLITES EXIST IN SPACE AND MUST XMIT THEIR SIGNALS THROUGH THE EARTH'S MAGNETOSPHERE AND AURORAL BELTS TO THE USER'S ACFT. DISTORTION OF THE RADIO WAVE PATH CAN CHANGE THE LENGTH OF THE SIGNAL PATH. WHEN THE PATH CHANGES THE GPS RECEIVER CAN STILL READ OUT DATA WITH GREAT PRECISION (LOTS OF DIGITS), BUT NO REAL ACCURACY (A TRUE LOCATION). HAARP IS SPECIFICALLY INTENDED TO MODIFY ELECTRICAL CONDITIONS BTWN THE GPS SATELLITE AND THE USERS RECEIVER ACCORDING TO THE PATENT. ACCORDING TO A NUMBER OF SOURCES THE RESULTING INHOMOGENEITY IN THE IONOSPHERE AND ATMOSPHERE MAY CAUSE SIGNAL SCINTILLATION AND OTHER DELETERIOUS EFFECTS. IF HAARP DOES NOT JAM GPS IT WILL NOT BE DEEMED A SUCCESSFUL WEAPON ACCORDING TO THE PATENT. CONSEQUENTLY, A PLT DEPENDING ON GPS ANYWHERE THE 2 SIGNAL PATHS INTERSECT WOULD PROBABLY BE WISE TO USE A NON ELECTRONIC NAVIGATIONAL BACK-UP. THE HAARP PROPOSED 100 VOLT PER METER CONTOUR APPEARS TO HAVE NO VALIDITY. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTR IS AN ALASKA REGION FAA ENGINEER INVOLVED IN THE DESIGN OF THE EXISTING SATELLITE SYS. HE IS A PLT, A PHYSICIST, AND AN ENGINEER. HIS ASSOCIATES SUGGESTED HE SEND TO ASRS THE DRAFT WHICH WAS THE SUBSTANCE OF THE RPT. WHEN DO YOU EXPECT HAARP WILL BE FIRED UP? 'RUMOR IS THAT THE SYS IS BEING TESTED NOW. HOWEVER, NO ONE SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO FIND OUT.' WHAT WOULD BE THE EFFECTS OF THE RFI? 'THE HAARP XMITS IN THE 3-8 MEGAHERTZ RANGE, WHICH DOES NOT EFFECT THE XMISSION OF THE GPS SIGNAL WHICH IS IN THE 1 PT GHZ (GIGAHERTZ) RANGE: BUT, IT EFFECTS THE COMPUTERS IN THE GPS BY INSTALLING WRONG WAYPOINTS, DESTROYING MEMORY, INSERTING BITS, AND LOCKING UP IN SOME CASES THE COMPUTER. DOESN'T THE FCC CTL THIS? 'THE FCC GAVE UP CTL OF RADIO FREQ INTERFERENCE (RFI) STANDARDS WHEN THE ELECTRONICS BOMBARDED THE MARKET FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD. A LAPTOP COMPUTER EMITS AN RFI IN THE GIGAHERTZ RANGE.' THE WHOLE POINT IS THE GPS IS A WONDERFUL TOOL: BUT, THE LIMITATIONS MUST BE ADDRESSED AND WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE YET.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.