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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:56 am 
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Didn't the EMP commission use a lower level of energy than we would generally see in an actual attack?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:05 am 
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Bunsen wrote:
----SNIP----I feel I should also comment on the video that's been discussed so much lately (from Future Weapons, right?). While it wasn't faked, they did cherry-pick devices that were exceptionally vulnerable in order to dramatize the effects. Most vehicles (90%, for a sample of cars from 1986-2002) can withstand nuclear EMPs without any material malfunction, let alone permanent failure. Read page 115 of http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473 ... on-7MB.pdf for the numbers. Note that out of 55 cars and trucks tested, not one suffered damage if it wasn't running during the EMP, and most of them suffered only nuisance malfunctions if they were. Douchebag McLoudwhisper was sitting in a car that was very carefully chosen to produce the scariest possible effect. Also, he can't even pronounce "nuclear," so fuck him.
[/quote]

You have already read all 208 pages of the 2008 report? I'm impressed. How did you stay awake? :lol: How about the classified reports? They might be really interesting!

"Members of the EMP Commission testified before the House Armed Services Committee in July 2002, releasing a partially classified five-volume report on the United States’ vulnerability to a potential EMP attack."

"Michael J. Frankel, executive director of the EMP Commission, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 2010.[64] In that testimony, Frankel noted that the commission’s final report presented 19 findings and made 17 recommendations to the DOD, all of which were classified...."


The much ballyhooed 2008 EMP Commission report can be misleading if you do not read it thoroughly (which I am trying to do but it is mind numbing!). Just like the video, you can easily misinterpret what is being presented. I'm guessing that you did not have time to read the reports and you Googled someone else's assessments (just like most of us would. LOL :mrgreen: )

Actual 2004 report: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/empc_exec_rpt.pdf
Actual 2008 report: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473 ... on-7MB.pdf

If we are just cherrypicking things like page 115 of the 2008 report, the EMP "tests" employed pulse field strengths less than a quarter of what modern "super emp" weapons could hit us with. The comissions' published report was based on 1994 unclassified US Army data.
Image

Adding to the headache is that thermonuclear weapons are poor at generating EMP. A bitty little 10 kiloton fission bomb can easily be 5 x 8% = 40% as powerful as the 1.44 megaton Starfish Prime at producing EMP.

Or how about the old cars the EMP Comission used? 1986 through 2002 models? Many 80's cars had "computers" that were really just closed loop analog servos. The mean age of vehicles has moved forward (about 10 yrs old now) and thus the infestation of the fully digital electronics in them has increased. No matter what, if only 5% of the nations cars go dead all at once, the traffic jams will make Los Angeles freeways look like the Indy 500. Heh... :wink: Deeper in that report and others can be found why Hawaii fared pretty well from the unintended Starfish prime damage: relatively short runs of power lines. Compared to the mainlands thousands of miles of transmission lines, the lines in Hawaii were much smaller "antennas" and coupled less EMP energy into that grid.

2010 Army War College 47 page report: http://www.empactamerica.org/USAWC_CSL- ... e-Dark.pdf

Upshot is, is there a chance that China or North Korea will lob an EMP device over us? Sure is, even if small. Do we factor it into our communications plans? Sure, why not?

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Last edited by teotwaki on Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:06 am 
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44Dave wrote:
Didn't the EMP commission use a lower level of energy than we would generally see in an actual attack?


yes, about 1/4 and it was based on the yield of older, unclassified weapons.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:04 pm 
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teotwaki wrote:
You have already read all 208 pages of the 2008 report? I'm impressed. How did you stay awake? :lol: How about the classified reports? They might be really interesting!

I got through about half of it a couple years back. What can I say, I was bored and I find governments' planning for nuclear armageddon eerily fascinating. The section about effects on space systems is pretty interesting. As a mere civilian, I would have some trouble getting access to classified reports, and I doubt I'd admit to doing so on the internet. :lol:

teotwaki wrote:
The much ballyhooed 2008 EMP Commission report can be misleading if you do not read it thoroughly (which I am trying to do but it is mind numbing!). Just like the video, you can easily misinterpret what is being presented. I'm guessing that you did not have time to read the reports and you Googled someone else's assessments (just like most of us would. LOL :mrgreen: )

Actual 2004 report: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/empc_exec_rpt.pdf
Actual 2008 report: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473 ... on-7MB.pdf

If we are just cherrypicking things like page 115 of the 2008 report, the EMP "tests" employed pulse field strengths less than a quarter of what modern "super emp" weapons could hit us with. The comissions' published report was based on 1994 unclassified US Army data.

I've read pretty much everything I can get my eyes on about nuclear weapons and their effects, EMP included. My interpretation of the 2008 report is consistent with all of the hard data I've managed to find elsewhere. I've seen mentions of enhanced-EMP weapons, including allusions to field strengths topping 300 kV/m, but I can't find anything on those beyond rumor and hearsay. If somebody can even explain to me how they get around the atmospheric ionization self-screening effect, I'll take those rumors more seriously.

teotwaki wrote:
Or how about the old cars the EMP Comission used? 1986 through 2002 models? Many 80's cars had "computers" that were really just closed loop analog servos. The mean age of vehicles has moved forward (about 10 yrs old now) and thus the infestation of the fully digital electronics in them has increased. No matter what, if only 5% of the nations cars go dead all at once, the traffic jams will make Los Angeles freeways look like the Indy 500. Heh... :wink: Deeper in that report and others can be found why Hawaii fared pretty well from the unintended Starfish prime damage: relatively short runs of power lines. Compared to the mainlands thousands of miles of transmission lines, the lines in Hawaii were much smaller "antennas" and coupled less EMP energy into that grid.

I agree it would be much better if they had broken down the results by model year, so we could get an idea of how much more vulnerable modern cars are, or at least used a more recent sample of vehicles. I won't argue the point about traffic jams, but that's a separate issue from the inaccuracy of the usual "EMP WILL KILL YOUR CAR DEAD NO MATTER WHAT" idea portrayed in popular media.

The matter of transmission line length is important for the E3 pulse (i.e. geomagnetic heave) effects on the grid, but pretty irrelevant to discussion of E1 effects on electronics. There are two big reasons Starfish Prime didn't mess up Hawaii's electronics too badly: it was an inefficient warhead for E1 generation (low prompt gamma yield fraction and preionization from the primary) and early 60s electronics were big, clunky, and hard to burn out.

teotwaki wrote:
Upshot is, is there a chance that China or North Korea will lob an EMP device over us? Sure is, even if small. Do we factor it into our communications plans? Sure, why not?

This is another reason I don't bother with hypotheticals about super-EMP bombs too much -- the only plausible attack scenarios involve rogue states with rather primitive nuclear technology. I don't even think of China as a possibility; they have the weapons, but not the crazy.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:05 am 
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As far as I'm concerned, it boils down to the old saw :"Prepare for the worst, hope for the best." I'm not going to harden my entire house and every electrical thing inside it, but it's not too hard to employ a little extra planning so you have a basic minimum in case the super EMP rolls through.


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