Military want to control the weather

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Military want to control the weather

Here is the future, if not the present, desire of the military...
(more on the site)

In 2025 U.S. aerospace forces can "own the weather" by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications.

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Such a capability offers the war fighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible. It provides opportunities to impact operations across the full spectrum of conflict and is pertinent to all possible futures,
the report concluded.

But if whipping up weather can be part of a warfighters tool kit, couldnt those talents be utilized to retarget or neutralize life, limb and property-destroying storms?

All-weather worries

"It is time to provide funds for application of the scientific method to weather modification and control," said Bernard Eastlund, chief technical officer and founder of Eastlund Scientific Enterprises Corporation in San Diego, California.

Eastlunds background is in plasma physics and commercial applications of microwave plasmas. At a lecture early this month at Penn State Lehigh Campus in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, he outlined new concepts for electromagnetic wave interactions with the atmosphere that, among a range of jobs, could be applied to weather modification research.

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The technology of artificial ionospheric heating could be as important for weather modification research as accelerators have been for particle physics
" Eastlund explained.

In September, Eastland filed a patent on a way to create artificial ionized plasma patterns with megawatts of power using inexpensive microwave power sources. This all-weather technique, he noted, can be used to heat specific regions of the atmosphere.

Eastlunds research is tuned to artificial generation of acoustic and gravitational waves in the atmosphere. The heating of steering winds to help shove around mesocyclones and hurricanes, as well as controlling electrical conductivity of the atmosphere is also on his investigative agenda.

Carefully tailored program plan

Eastlund said that the reduction in severity or impact of severe weather could be demonstrated as part of a carefully tailored program plan.

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In my opinion, the new technology for use of artificial plasma layers in the atmosphere: as heater elements to modify steering winds, as a modifier of electrostatic potential to influence lightning distribution, and for generation of acoustic and gravitational waves, could ultimately provide a core technology for a science of severe weather modification,
Eastlund told

The first experiments of a program, Eastlund emphasized, would be very small, and designed for safety. For example, a sample of air in a jet stream could be heated with a pilot experimental installation. Such experiments would utilize relatively small amounts of power, between one and ten megawatts, he pointed out.

Both ground-based and space weather diagnostic instruments could measure the effect. Computer simulations could compare these results with predicted effects. This process can be iterated until reliable information is obtained on the effects of modifying the wind.

Computer simulations of hurricanes, Eastlund continued, are designed to determine the most important wind fields in hurricane formation. Computer simulations of mesocyclones use steering wind input data to predict severe storm development.

After about 5 years of such research, and further development of weather codes, a pilot experiment to modify the steering winds of a mesocylone might be safely attempted. Such an experiment would probably require 50 to 100 megawatts, Eastlund speculated.

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I estimate this new science of weather modification will take 10 to 20 years to mature to the point where it is useful for controlling the severity and impact of severe weather systems as large as hurricanes,
Eastlund explained.

Inadvertent effects?

Another reason for embarking on this new science could be to make sure inadvertent effects of existing projects, such as the heating of the ionosphere and modifications of the polar electrojet, are not having effects on weather, Eastlund stated.

As example, Eastlund pointed to the High frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). This is a major Arctic facility for upper atmospheric and solar-terrestrial research, being built on a Department of Defense-owned site near Gakona, Alaska.

Eastlund wonders if HAARP does, in fact, generate gravity waves. If so, can those waves in turn influence severe weather systems?

Started in 1990, the unclassified HAARP program is jointly managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research. Researchers at the site make use of a high-power ionospheric research instrument to temporarily excite a limited area of the ionosphere for scientific study, observing and measuring the excited region using a suite of devices.

The fundamental goal of research conducted at the facility is to study and understand natural phenomena occurring in the Earths ionosphere and near-space environment. According to the HAARP website, those scientific investigations will have major value in the design of future communication and navigation systems for both military and civilian use.

Messing with Mother Nature

Who best to have their hands on the weather control switches?

The last large hurricane modification experiments -- under Project Stormfury -- were carried out by the U.S. Air Force, Eastlund said. "It is likely the Department of Defense would be the lead agency in any new efforts in severe storm modification."

Additionally, federal laboratories with their extensive computational modeling skills would also play a lead role in the development of a science of weather modification. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would find their respective niches too. The satellite diagnostic capabilities in those agencies would play a strong role, Eastlund suggested.
By netchicken: posted on 1-11-2005

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