Dark Skies: The EMP threat hanging over America

Grids Fail
May 2016 FINAL PREPARATION – A few seconds after 11 p.m. on July 9, 1962, streetlights on the Hawaiian island of Oahu blinked out. About 300 went out in total, but, happily, it didn’t matter. The skies over Hawaii were lit up nearly as bright as day for the same reason that the streetlights stopped working: The test of a thermonuclear weapon nearly 1,500 kilometers away over Johnston Atoll. The streetlights were knocked out not by the explosion or by the shock wave of the blast.
They were rendered inoperative after getting hit by an electro-magnetic pulse created by the detonation. Electro-magnetic pulse damage was a topic of conversation in both of the Republican debates on Thursday night. Rick Santorum, one-third of the warm-up debate, warned of the possibility of an EMP being used as a weapon, a “devastating explosion” that would “fry out” anything with a circuit board. “Everything is gone,” he said. “Cars stop. Planes fall out of the sky.” If Iran got a nuclear bomb, he warned, they could explode one in the atmosphere over the United States and break every phone, car, computer and anything else electronic underneath.
During the main debate, Ben Carson raised the same issue. “[W]e have enemies who are obtaining nuclear weapons that they can explode in our exoatmosphere and destroy our electric grid,” he said, adding, “Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue at that point?” An EMP requires a very specific combination of things coming together in order to be effective. It requires a nuclear explosion with a payload of “hundreds of kilotons or megatons,” per Butt — substantially larger than the recent test in North Korea, for example. It requires a missile that can deliver the bomb to a precise point in the atmosphere. And it requires a willingness to bear the brunt of the action.
When a nuclear explosion occurs in the atmosphere, it gives off gamma rays. Those gamma rays hit nearby atoms, knocking loose their electrons. When that happens, the electrons give off a radio pulse. The gamma rays and electrons and radio pulses travel toward the ground essentially at the speed of light, and when they arrive, electric circuits in our devices — phones, chips in cars, etc. — act as antennas for the pulse. “It deposits energy very quickly,” Butt said. “It has a lot of power in a very short timescale and that heat cannot be dissipated, so it in effect fries the electronics.”
When a nuclear explosion occurs in the atmosphere, it gives off gamma rays. Those gamma rays hit nearby atoms, knocking loose their electrons. When that happens, the electrons give off a radio pulse. The gamma rays and electrons and radio pulses travel toward the ground essentially at the speed of light, and when they arrive, electric circuits in our devices — phones, chips in cars, etc. — act as antennas for the pulse. “It deposits energy very quickly,” Butt said. “It has a lot of power in a very short timescale and that heat cannot be dissipated, so it in effect fries the electronics.”

EMP Map

One Russian Topel M ballistic missile exploded in space 500 miles above the United States could cripple the entire nation to such an extent that it would knock out the National power grid, water and sewage systems. According to a foreign press report, a nuclear device detonated up to 500 miles above the earth’s surface could generate an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) with a “devastating” effect on power supplies, telecommunications and other vital systems. An EMP attack would cripple the United States”, says Billie Moore of Charlotte, N.C. an electronic warfare expert. “It’s the equivalent to our nations’ Achilles heel”, he said.
A coronal mass ejection from the Sun could send a magnetic field toward Earth that could cause an E3-like effect on the transformers that make up our electrical grid. Butt repeatedly noted that while the threat of a nuclear EMP was small, the threat of a solar one was real. (As he noted in a 2012 article for the Times, it appears to have happened a few years ago in Quebec.) “Let’s not throw out the solar-geomagnetic baby with the EMP bathwater,” he said. Preparing our infrastructure to handle an EMP from the Sun would help us prevent damage during a hostile strike, as well. –Washington Post

EMP

A Solar Flare could knock the world back to the Stone Age: An electromagnetic surge from a solar storm is a more likely threat for an EMP. Generally, experts expect a bad solar storm to reach Earth about once every century, Baker said. The last time one hit the planet was during the Carrington event, when particles from a powerful coronal mass ejection overloaded telegraph wires and set paper messages on fire in 1859. A coronal mass ejection is an enormous sun eruption of super-hot plasma that spews charged particles across the solar system.
At that time, the world was just beginning to use widespread electronic communications. Baker and his colleagues just submitted a paper that details a coronal mass ejection that took place in July 2012. In that event, some 80 billion pounds of energized particles were ejected from the sun at a speed of several million miles per hour. Luckily it missed Earth. But if it had occurred one week earlier, it would have been aimed directly toward our planet — with catastrophic results. 
“Given our current state of readiness, we’d still be picking up the pieces,” Baker said. Bad solar storms work by sending “blobs” of energized particles toward the Earth, carrying their own magnetic field, Baker said. This missile-like group of particles can “open a gate” in Earth’s magnetic field, allowing energetic particles to enter the high atmosphere and send currents all the way down to the planet’s surface, he said. These can induce currents in the electrical grid, overheating transformers and causing them to fail. And these things can take months or years to replace. “You can’t exactly buy another at Sears,” Baker said. –Live Science

EMP device

New Generation of EMP weapons: Born into Generation X, I grew up with the threat of nuclear war — and all its corollaries, from visions of mushroom clouds to “duck and cover” drills in high school to Terminator movies, and of course, the ever-present worry that one day a sneaky Soviet satellite would detonate way up in the sky and fry all of our electronics with an “electromagnetic pulse.”
So imagine my surprise when the U.S. Air Force confirmed last week that it’s developed an electromagnetic pulse weapon of its own, and that Boeing is helping to build it. The weapon in question: Boeing’s “CHAMP,” short for Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project. It’s essentially the old nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapon that we used to worry so much about — but without the nuclear part. CHAMP carries a small generator that emits microwaves to fry electronics with pinpoint accuracy. It targets not nations or cities but individual buildings, blacking out their electronics rather than blowing up physical targets (or people).
What makes CHAMP even more interesting is that, unlike a nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapon, which fires once, blacking out entire nation-states, CHAMP can fire multiple times, pinpointing and blacking out only essential targets. This would permit, for example, taking down radar defenses in a hostile state, while saving the electrical grid that supports the civilian population. In a 2012 test flight in Utah, a single CHAMP was reported to have blacked out seven separate targets in succession, in one single mission.
Even back then, a Boeing representative was able to boast: “We hit every target we wanted to,” predicting further that “in the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive.” Three years later, that future has arrived. Air Force Research Laboratory commander Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello says CHAMP is “an operational system already in our tactical air force.” –Motley Fool

Wars and Rumors

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This entry was posted in Acts of Agression, Civil Unrest, Civilization Unravels, Conflict Among Nations, Electric Grid Failure, EMP Threat, Escalating hostilities, Flashpoint for war, Geopolitical Crisis, Military Alliances, Nations Collapse, Nuclear Proliferation, Preparation for War, Rumors of War, Tech War, Terrorism threat, The Pyramid Model. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dark Skies: The EMP threat hanging over America

  1. Dennis E. says:

    Breaking news, this is not new. Usually when the military makes public information like this, they’ve had it for a while. Since the 1980’s the military has been hardened the electronics in its planes, tanks and ships against an EMP. It is the public that will suffer.

  2. Dennis E. says:

    If every eye will see the two witnesses lay for two days in the streets of Jerusalem, then, if it happens, it will be a short term event with limited results or may never happen at all.

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