Our modern world of Wi-Fi, smartphones, and location apps relies on radio waves to link up all our gadgets. Most of us, though, are unaware that the ionosphere high above Earth affects the location services in our phones and the directions relayed by the navigation units in our cars. The complex dynamics of the ionospheric plasma, a gas of electrons and ions enveloping our planet, can be studied by research facilities such as the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), located in Alaska. During the past 15 years, HAARP has produced many interesting and unexpected results, perhaps most spectacularly the production of an artificial ionospheric plasma generated by radio waves.
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