EMP – E bomb capable enough to destroy all electronic items in the world
EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) also known as E-bomb (Electromagnetic bomb) is a new kind of high-power surges weapon capable enough to render impotent even most advanced digital weapons which can paralyze whole country in nanoseconds. It has been already developed and is in possession of many countries. Through this E-bomb most advanced countries can be sent back into Stone Age. This article will help to understand what an EMP is, How it works and how to protect against EMP attack.
What is an EMP?
It all started in 1962, when electromagnetic pulse effect was first seen while testing 1.44 megaton United States nuclear named “Starfish Prime” tested in space around 400 kilometers above mid-Pacific Ocean. Starfish Prime showed its effect 1,445 kilometers away from detonation place which caused heavy electrical damage in Hawaii.This test was so powerful that it knocked out 300 streetlights; many burglar alarms were set off including damages to many telephone company microwave links. In the same year a series of EMP producing nuclear were tested in space above Kazakhstan by Soviet Union called “The K Project”. Electromagnetic pulse in effect with an electromagnetic shock wave produces a powerful electromagnetic field within the vicinity of busted weapon. Field generated is sufficiently strong enough to produce short lived transient voltages with thousands of volts (kilovolts) exposing electrical conductors like wires and conductive tracks printed on circuit boards. EMP effect is very much significant to military as irreversible damages can be done to different electrical and electronic equipments mainly computers, radio and radar receivers.
How do EMP’s work?
Ever wondered, how an invisible energy field can have catastrophic effect on computers, mobile phones and to other electronics? You will find the answers of these questions here which describes How do EMP’s work?
The core concept behind working of EMP’s involves electrons, copper coils and generating fluctuating magnetic field voltage. It is known to everyone that electrons reside in conductive wires. Magnetic field when passed by the wire excites electrons which results in movement of these electrons. When magnetic field stops moving, electrons also stops moving. To generate electricity, primarily this concept is used where coils of wire and powerful magnets are used. Similar concept is used in EMP generation where high current pulse containing electricity is released through single or double loop antenna wire which in return creates an intense magnetic field exciting electrons in metals within the range of magnetic field. This leads to creation of large voltage surge within surrounding electronic components effectively frying sensitive transistors, IC’s, etc. A magnetic field can be created by an EMP generator in two different ways. The first way is to use a very powerful single-pole pulse and another way involves using less powerful fluctuating-pole pulse. These both ways have their own advantages and disadvantages. A single pulse EMP uses much more current as compared to flux-EMP requiring fewer components and providing larger range. In a flux-EMP fluctuating magnetic field is to be used as an alternate who requires power transistors for currents polarity switch through the coil including Hall Effect sensors and an IC. Local flash memory of any device can be easily wiped through a simple single-pole EMP till 3 feet’s rendering any electronics permanently useless from an inch.
What is an EMP attack?
As already described EMP is known as high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy produced by charged particles when accelerated rapidly. When attacked, electrical systems are sent into chaos by three different ways. First, sensors, communication systems, computers, protective systems and other similar devices are disrupted through electromagnetic shock. Second component consists of smaller range which is similar to lightning effect. For lightening strikes proactive measures have been taken in advance, however the fear of damage cannot be avoided as it rapidly follows and compounds the first component. Third component is slower when compared with previous two components but consists of longer duration. A pulse is generated by third component which flows through electricity transmission lines causing damage to distribution centers including fusing power lines. These three components are capable enough to provide irreversible damage to electronic systems.
EMP attack can be done in two forms: nuclear and non-nuclear. Nuclear attack is one of the most devastating form which when attacked will result in damage to all electronic equipment and to electric power system which will virtually hamper any civilian infrastructure in United States. A nuclear weapon when exploded above visual horizon line in-between 40 to 400 kilometers results in occurrence of pulse. Nuclear weapon when detonated releases photons in the form of gamma radiations and x-rays. Energetic gamma and x-rays particles are scattered in all directions. Out of all scattered particles many are trapped with Earth’s magnetic field line which creates an oscillating electric current within the field which results in creation of large electromagnetic field or the pulses. When these pulses interacts with electronic components it then either disables, damages or destroys them permanently.
Non-nuclear EMP is a radio frequency weapon. It is easier to conceal and no missile is required. For non nuclear EMP to occur it must be detonated close enough to the target which partially damages electronic devices. This type of E-bomb is a standalone weapon which is very easy to hide and maneuver. In 1993 EMP testing performed by US military resulted in shutting down of an engine control situated 300 meters away. No severe damages were noted down; however, damage was enough to cause concern.
How long does EMP last?
An EMP propagates outwards with the speed of light and dissipates almost immediately causing damage to all electronic devices within its range. The residual effects caused are so high that electronic devices will need replacement of entire circuit boards or entire units. If nuclear weapons are used then effect caused will be severe as electromagnetic disruption will cause radioactive residual effect, a material causing electromagnetic signals just like static interference capable enough to last a couple iterations of half life or until radioactive waste is fully cleaned up and then overwhelmed electronic devices are replaced. Most vacuum tube technology might survive an EMP effect or any nuclear fallout as unlike solid state; diodes are basically a light bulb and receiving plate. Receiving plate cannot feed power backwards into light bulb until and unless tremendous electrical potential exist.
Effects of EMP on Humans
Please be informed that effect of EMP on human body is very low. Even though a person gets direct EMP hit, he does not require medical emergency. However, if a person is touching metal or is carrying an electrical appliance at that point of time might suffer a lethal lightening strike which will be beyond medical care. 50,000 volts per meter including hundreds of amps is generated by Electromagnetic Pulse. A nerve cell of human body operates with voltage of 0.1 volt inside-outside of cells which are separated by double layer membrane consisting of 0.1 micrometer thick. Insulation is given by this membrane which intakes excess voltage of 1 MV per meter in order to breakdown. An EMP voltage is around 50KV therefore, an intense EMP pulse effect is unable to cause breakdown of cell membranes. EMP is never going to kill any person directly in fact damage to person would be done through destroying computers and electrical networks which we humans hold together in a society.
How to protect against EMP?
A simple Faraday Cage can help to protect electronic devices. Reason behind protecting electronic devices is that in case of electromagnetic pulse effect communication will be a necessity in order to survive in powerless world. Faraday cage has been named after scientists Michael Faraday who discovered on how to shield and protect against electromagnetic waves which also includes electricity. A simple Faraday cages can be built at home at very low cost which works similar to expensive ones used by government. Faraday cage can be easily built with the help of household items. Faraday cage is capable enough to protect contents from electromagnetic pulse from getting inside. Fine copper mesh and solid aluminum are used in expensive Faraday units. This can be easily built at homes by using aluminum foils and using a galvanized steel trash can. It is not important to make Faraday shielding a cage; it can be simply anything which is able to block electromagnetic radiation.