The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).Built by BAE Advanced Technologies (BAEAT), its purpose is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. The HAARP program operates a major sub-arctic facility, named the HAARP Research Station, on an Air Force–owned site near Gakona, Alaska.This thrust of the 2013 program, budgeted at $11 million, will obtain insights into physical aspects of natural phenomena such as magnetospheric sub-storms, fire, lightning, and geo-physical phenomena. New fundamental understandings of these phenomena will enable the ability to predict and exploit these physical processes, especially with regard to communications. Last year’s HAARP budget was $13 million and the 2011 was about $9 million.A major emphasis of this thrust is to provide predictive models for the interactions between plasmas and electromagnetic waves across a range of energy and length scales, and into new regimes.
Upper-atmospheric lightning or upper-atmospheric discharge are terms sometimes used by researchers to refer to a family of short-lived electrical-breakdown phenomena that occur well above the altitudes of normal lightning and storm clouds. Upper-atmospheric lightning is believed to be electrically induced forms of optical fluorescence. The preferred usage is transient luminous event, because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more familiar tropospheric lightning. TLEs include red sprites, sprite halos, blue jets, gigantic jets, and ELVES
Representation of upper-atmospheric lightning and electrical-discharge phenomena