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RF Shorts for May 26, 2014

U.S. Air Force Plans to Dismantle HAARP I've written about the U.S. Air Force's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) near Gakona, Alaska in the past and have even received emails from people near the antenna array that were concerned about its impact on their health after they stumbled on one of my articles. I have good news for them--HAARP is shutting down.

HAARP used an array of directional antennas to beam 3 MW of RF in the 2.8 to 10 MHz spectrum straight up with the goal of creating an area of localized ionization to measure the ionosphere. Some of the research also used VLF frequencies.

The large antenna array and the amount of power used lead to numerous conspiracy theories as to the real use of this military facility. One example is

Dermot Cole, writing in the Anchorage Daily News, reportedAir Force prepares to dismantle HAARP ahead of summer shutdown, noting that, "The U.S. Air Force gave official notice to Congress Wednesday that it intends to dismantle the $300 million High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program in Gakona this summer."

Cole had this from the Senate hearing, "Responding to questions from Sen. Lisa Murkowski during a Senate hearing Wednesday, David Walker, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology and engineering, said this is 'not an area that we have any need for in the future' and it would not be a good use of Air Force research funds to keep HAARP going.’We're moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which the HAARP was really designed to do,' he said. 'To inject energy into the ionosphere to be able to actually control it. But that work has been completed."

David Walker's answer raises an interesting question. It looks like the Air Force is still interested in managing the ionosphere, but using a different method. Is there a HAARP 2.0 plan somewhere?

Dermot Cole's article has more on HAARP, the facility, its uses and its funding.

Ceske Televize Launches Prague UHD Trial

Another country plans to trial UHDTV, this time Czechoslovakia. reports, Czech Ultra HD trial gets under way. Chris Dziadui writes, "Ceske RadiokomunikaceCeske Radiokomnikace (CRa) and the Czech public broadcaster Ceske Televize (CT) have begun the Ultra HD trial within the framework of experimental DVB-T2 broadcasts. According to CRa, the trial, which is the first of its kind in the CEE region, began on May 13 the Zizkov transmitter in Prague."

The transmissions currently use MPEG-4 coding, although tests with the new HEVC codec are planned for the second half of the year. The trial should be completed by the end of November.

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.