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View Full Version : We can out zap the ruskies



Bneterasedmynam
5/26/2015 12:17pm,
U.S. Air Force confirms electromagnetic pulse weapon
http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2015/05/25/orig-boeing-electromagnetic-pulse-weapon.cnn.html

I wonder how effective it would be. Don't most electronics have a degree of magnetic protection??

Mr. Machette
5/26/2015 1:49pm,
U.S. Air Force confirms electromagnetic pulse weapon
http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2015/05/25/orig-boeing-electromagnetic-pulse-weapon.cnn.html

I wonder how effective it would be. Don't most electronics have a degree of magnetic protection??
The Russians used a low tech solution to counter the EMP threat durring the cold war.
"Stick to tube electronics". To the uninitiated westerner their bomber fleet's avionics seemed archaic in a post solid state world but the advantage was that their planes would still be flying after the first volley of nukes.

My guess is that if the Ruskies had EMP whooped in the 60's with a 1940's technology base they're probably pretty well immune to it today.

goodlun
5/26/2015 5:26pm,
The Russians used a low tech solution to counter the EMP threat durring the cold war.
"Stick to tube electronics". To the uninitiated westerner their bomber fleet's avionics seemed archaic in a post solid state world but the advantage was that their planes would still be flying after the first volley of nukes.

My guess is that if the Ruskies had EMP whooped in the 60's with a 1940's technology base they're probably pretty well immune to it today.

All planes would likely still be flying, planes are designed around the concept of taking lighting strikes, this same design work makes they fairly resistant to emp.

Most things are resistant to EMP unfortunately the biggest thing the electrical grid itself might suffer some damage.
The Russian one being even more likely to if I recall correctly.

BKR
5/26/2015 6:33pm,
All planes would likely still be flying, planes are designed around the concept of taking lighting strikes, this same design work makes they fairly resistant to emp.

Most things are resistant to EMP unfortunately the biggest thing the electrical grid itself might suffer some damage.
The Russian one being even more likely to if I recall correctly.

Isn't it fairly easy to make a Faraday Cage out of an airplane ? Or does it have to be grounded ?

goodlun
5/26/2015 6:40pm,
Isn't it fairly easy to make a Faraday Cage out of an airplane ? Or does it have to be grounded ?

An Air plane pretty much is a flying Faraday cage.
The newer ones give me more pause as they are made out of composites instead of an aluminum shell but they add conductive fibers to them, so that they can survive lighting strikes.
Basically anything that can survive a lighting strike is fairly EMP proof.
You car?
Yep most likely emp proof.
EMPs are a mixture of some scary stuff because of some of the larger not protected things and some meh stuff as a lot of things are fairly well protected especially at ground level.

Bneterasedmynam
5/26/2015 7:16pm,
Yeah, but would my phone still work?? If not then an EMP would be one hell of a threat to most people(by most I mean those who walk around with their smartphones glued to their eyes).

BKR
5/26/2015 7:22pm,
An Air plane pretty much is a flying Faraday cage.
The newer ones give me more pause as they are made out of composites instead of an aluminum shell but they add conductive fibers to them, so that they can survive lighting strikes.
Basically anything that can survive a lighting strike is fairly EMP proof.
You car?
Yep most likely emp proof.
EMPs are a mixture of some scary stuff because of some of the larger not protected things and some meh stuff as a lot of things are fairly well protected especially at ground level.

That's what I though vis a vis the "flying FAraday Cage".

I think we can bet safely that military aircraft are EMP hardened.

goodlun
5/26/2015 8:03pm,
That's what I though vis a vis the "flying FAraday Cage".

I think we can bet safely that military aircraft are EMP hardened.

Don't know its not really a priority, but truth is commercial airliners and military planes are fairly emp hardened de facto by the lighting strike certifications they have to have.
A lighting strike is a much larger current and voltage surges.


Yeah, but would my phone still work?? If not then an EMP would be one hell of a threat to most people(by most I mean those who walk around with their smartphones glued to their eyes).

Yes your smart phone will be fine, the antenna and circuitry on it is far to small to pick up a sizable current from an EMP. Now the towers that your phone connects to on the other hand might be damaged. Although unlikely as they can handle quite a surge load.

BKR
5/27/2015 12:58pm,
Interesting stuff here...
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=540036

Mr. Machette
5/27/2015 1:13pm,
My college physics professor was a semi retired rocket scientist who had worked for the DOD and NASA his whole carreer.
That meant he spent the 70s working on our balistic missile fleet.
EMP is nothing new. A huge pusle from an upper atmospheric nuke test had damaged electronics worldwide in the sixties and it was well known that both sides of the cold war planed on using that side effect to their advantage in the case of an exchange.
So hardening our military's mission critical infrastructure was part of his gig.
When describing faraday cages and their roll in protecting our assets he said "I can't get into details because that is classified information but I can assure you that I sleep very well at night."
Basically in terms of our fighting ability this problem has bee solved wince the 1970s at least.

goodlun
5/27/2015 2:23pm,
My college physics professor was a semi retired rocket scientist who had worked for the DOD and NASA his whole carreer.
That meant he spent the 70s working on our balistic missile fleet.
EMP is nothing new. A huge pusle from an upper atmospheric nuke test had damaged electronics worldwide in the sixties and it was well known that both sides of the cold war planed on using that side effect to their advantage in the case of an exchange.
So hardening our military's mission critical infrastructure was part of his gig.
When describing faraday cages and their roll in protecting our assets he said "I can't get into details because that is classified information but I can assure you that I sleep very well at night."
Basically in terms of our fighting ability this problem has bee solved wince the 1970s at least.

Its not that we don't know how to shield against EMP its that we really don't.
Yes some military assets have been hardened. Not nearly all.
Especially with the threat of a nuclear war ending with the cold war.
No a pulse in the 60s barely did any damage what so ever.
There are plenty of articles on it.

Mr. Machette
5/27/2015 2:44pm,
No a pulse in the 60s barely did any damage what so ever.
There are plenty of articles on it.
We must be reading different articles. The ones I read claimed comunication infrastructure damage throuhgout the southern hemisphere. Disruption was so wide spread that the event was a fair degree of impetus towards the comprehensive test ban treaty.

It probably seemed like little damage because at the end of the day emp is not the end of civilisation. At worst it coupd knock us back about 70 years for a while.

goodlun
5/27/2015 3:04pm,
We must be reading different articles. The ones I read claimed comunication infrastructure damage throuhgout the southern hemisphere. Disruption was so wide spread that the event was a fair degree of impetus towards the comprehensive test ban treaty.

It probably seemed like little damage because at the end of the day emp is not the end of civilisation. At worst it coupd knock us back about 70 years for a while.
It certainly isn't hollywood level damage that is for sure.
The most likely effect will be damage to our power transmission network. That can do some serious damage. Most personal electronics will be fine, most vehicles will be fine and most generators will be fine. But the actual transmission control lines would likely be damaged and that can cause some serious issues.
I can tell you that are electrical grid infrastructure is not hardened against EMPs.
So it would certainly be painful but no, not end of the world, civilization as we know it, and technology or computers.
in fact most computers have a fair amount of resistance built in do to their metal chassis and grounding.

Mr. Machette
5/27/2015 5:25pm,
It certainly isn't hollywood level damage that is for sure.
The most likely effect will be damage to our power transmission network. That can do some serious damage. Most personal electronics will be fine, most vehicles will be fine and most generators will be fine. But the actual transmission control lines would likely be damaged and that can cause some serious issues.
I can tell you that are electrical grid infrastructure is not hardened against EMPs.
So it would certainly be painful but no, not end of the world, civilization as we know it, and technology or computers.
in fact most computers have a fair amount of resistance built in do to their metal chassis and grounding.
I keep imagining a world without widespread power distribution, automobiles and telecommunications.

Conspiracy theorists imagine a return to the stone age. All I can think is, "you mean like, 1915?".

goodlun
5/27/2015 5:52pm,
I keep imagining a world without widespread power distribution, automobiles and telecommunications.

Conspiracy theorists imagine a return to the stone age. All I can think is, "you mean like, 1915?".

Well automobiles will still work metal frames and short(length) circuits means smaller voltage spikes then they get under normal operation.
Most telecomm equipment also experience voltage spike greater than that of an EMP.
Maybe some of the larger antennas might get hit hard but over all the telecomm network will be safe. You know except needing power off the grid.
The grid itself will largely be intact there will just be some sensitive and hard to replace pieces of equipment that would be fried. All the actual transmission lines would be fine. Most of the transformers would also be fine.

goodlun
5/28/2015 9:55pm,
Its kind of long but its a good read on EMPs
http://www.informationweek.com/government/cloud-computing/emp-debunked-the-jolt-that-could-fry-the-cloud/d/d-id/1315481