In testimony before the United States Congress House Armed Services Committee on October 7, 1999, the eminent physicist Dr. For an explanation of why the all of the nuclear weapons so far tested above ground have been suppressed-EMP weapons, and the ease with which those weapons could have been made into enhanced-EMP weapons, see the first half of the web page on Super-EMP Weapons. Both the United States and the Soviet Union detonated EMP-generating nuclear weapons tests in space during the darkest days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world was already on the brink of nuclear war.
If the recovery period were long, and especially if electronic communication were down for a period of months, civilization in the United States could reach a tipping point where recovery would become difficult or impossible.
For a map of the locations of the most highly at-risk power grid transformers in the United States, see this page from the 2008 Report on Severe Space Weather Events.
In the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is finally addressing the dangers to nuclear power plants that would result from a long-term loss of the power grid.
A page has been developed about the things that individuals can do to help protect themselves against the EMP threat -- and there is much that individuals can do. United States (or any other similarly advanced country) incapable of supporting anything close to its present population. As the above report points out, even if power grid transformers survive an EMP attack, the power grid is extremely vulnerable to EMP and other attacks because of control and monitoring devices called SCADAs, which would be easily knocked out even with a relatively small weapon. For a shorter summary, the comments of the chairman of the EMP Commission, made when the report above was delivered to the U.S. Another good report on the nuclear EMP problem is this report on Electromagnetic Pulse Threats in 2010 released by the United States Air Force (originally released in 2005).
Jerry Emanuelson, the creator of this web site, has contributed to the 3rd edition with a complete re-write and fresh editing of this book. For a discussion of some of the problems in correlating the results of EMP simulator testing to the actual results seen in the 1962 high altitude nuclear tests, see this transcript of a House Armed Services Committee discussion between congressmen and physicists. For more information about super-EMP weapons (including why all nuclear weapons tested above ground, including the Starfish Prime test, were actually suppressed-EMP weapons), see the Super-EMP page. The Electronic Armageddon documentary was repeated on the National Geographic Channel in the United States in October, 2010; and may be repeated occasionally in the future. There is a comprehensive and well-referenced page at this site with extensive details about the 1962 Soviet nuclear EMP tests over Kazakhstan, which resulted in extensive damage to the electrical and communications infrastructure. Another page on EMP explains the critical difference between the E1, E2 and E3 components of nuclear EMP. Also at this site, there is a very important page on common EMP Myths, which cause an enormous amount of confusion. Above: USSR Test ‘184’ on 22 October 1962, ‘Operation K’ (ABM System A proof tests) 300-kt burst at 290-km altitude near Dzhezkazgan. The Atomic Weapons Establishment site also showed a Monte Carlo model of STARFISH radiation belt development, indicating that the electron belt stretched a third of the way around the earth's equator at 3 minutes, and encircled the earth at 10 minutes.
Above: the conjugate region aurora from STARFISH, 4,200 km from the detonation, as seen from Tongatapu 11 minutes after detonation. Above: raw data released by America so far on the Starfish EMP consists of the graph on the left based on a measurement by Richard L.
Above: locations of test aircraft which suffered EMP damage during Operation Fishbowl in 1962.
Above: if we ignore the late-time MHD-EMP mechanism (which takes seconds to minutes to peak and has extremely low frequencies) there are three EMP mechanisms at play in determining the radiated EMP as a function of burst altitude. Above: EMP waveform for all times (logarithmic axes) and frequency spectra for a nominal high altitude detonation (P.
Above: the measured late-time MHD-EMP at Hawaii, 1,500 km from the Starfish test, was stronger than at Johnston Island (directly below the burst!) because of the ionized X-ray patch of conductive air below the bomb, which shielded Johnston Island.
Above: the incendiary effects of a relatively weak but natural MHD-EMP from the geomagnetic solar storm of 13 March 1989 in saturating the core of a transformer in the Hydro-Quebec electric power grid. Above: area coverage by the first (fast or 'magnetic dipole mechanism') peak EMP and by the second (slow or 'magneto-hydrodynamic, MHD-EMP, mechanism') for a 10-20 kt single stage (pure fission) thin-cased burst at 150 km altitude. Above: the 2004 Commission report on EMP includes this map of the EMP from the solar storm on 13 March 1989 which had effects similar to a weak MHD-EMP and the auroral EMP (caused by a fraction of the debris fireball and charged particle radiation which moves along magnetic field lines between conjugate points in different hemispheres). Press your menu button and find the option to bookmark this page (a star icon for some browsers). The Iranians, who do not yet have nuclear weapons but are working on it, learned about the effects of electromagnetic pulse attacks from the history of some of the first nuclear weapons tests conducted first by the United States in 1945 and later by the Russians and Chinese, who also are expert on EMP. Military experts say that Iran has been involved in conducting mid-air detonations which are critical to acquire the EMP effect. Experts say that there really is no other reason to test for such mid-air explosions except to develop an EMP weapon. He said that in addition to Iran, the following countries have knowledge about EMP and its effects following an attack: Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Egypt, Taiwan, Sweden, Cuba, India, Pakistan, Iraq, North Korea, China and Russia.
Pry said that Russian and Chinese military scientists in open source writings describe the basic principles of nuclear weapons designed specifically to generate an enhanced-EMP effect, called Super-EMP weapons, which can destroy even the best protected U.S.
In electromagnetic pulse, a highly intense burst of electromagnetic energy generated from a nuclear weapon, a massive solar storm or from radio-frequency, or RF, weapon, is used. In early July 2008 testimony, then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs James J. According to reports at the time, all signal lines were shielded and, in many cases doubly shielded.
Then in July 1962, there were several high-altitude nuclear tests known as Operation Fishbowl. One such test, called Starfish Prime, was conducted at some 400 kilometers, or 250 miles, above the Pacific Ocean. Starfish Prime test showed that the effects of a high-altitude nuclear detonation were much larger than first thought.
It knocked out streetlights, set off burglar alarms and damaged the microwave link of the local telephone company, according to a report by Charles N. Starfish Prime then was followed in November 1962 by two other high-altitude tests – Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish – which provided enough EMP data for scientists to accurately identify the physical mechanisms producing the EMPs.
To understand the characteristics of an EMP, scientists have divided EMP pulses into three components: E1, E2 and E3. Damage from the E1 component is caused by electrical breakdown voltages such as insulators being overwhelmed, thereby destroying electronic components in computers and communications equipment. The interaction of the Earth’s magnetic field and the downward flow of electrons is what produces a very large, intense but brief electromagnetic pulse which hits within five nanoseconds.
According to experts, the process of the gamma rays knocking electrons out of the atoms at a high altitude causes this region of the atmosphere to become an electrical conductor due to ionization. The E2 component is produced by weapon neutrons and is considered to be an intermediate time pulse.
If an electronic component is protected only from an E2 pulse, an E1 pulse will destroy it. E3 pulse is very slow, and has similarities to a geomagnetic storm caused by a solar flare.
Above the 250-mile altitude, there will be no EMP effects on earth, since the gamma rays would disperse over the longer distance.
Up to 250 miles above the earth over Kansas, for example, scientists say that the effects of an EMP pulse would cover virtually the entire continental United States. In recognizing this threat, especially if such countries as North Korea and Iran acquired nuclear weapons, Congress under Title XIV of the Floyd D. Bartlett, who recently lost his bid for re-election, has been a major proponent of preparing the nation against the prospect of an EMP attack.
The 1859 solar storm to which Bartlett referred also is referred to as a solar super storm, or Carrington Event.
Bartlett first raised the alarm after he and former Congressman Curt Weldon, R-Pa., had met in 1999 with their Russian Duma, or parliament, counterparts about assaults by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during the Kosovo crisis occurring at the time.
The two had conferred with Vladimir Lukin, who at the time was chairman of the Duma’s International Affairs Committee and had been a high-level official of the then-Soviet national security apparatus under former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Lukin told the congressmen that if Moscow really wanted to hurt the United States without fear of retaliation, Russia would launch a missile from a submarine, explode it high over the country and shut down its power grid and communications for six months. The executive report pointed out that the common element that can have such a devastating impact on the critical infrastructure is primarily electronics. These critical infrastructure facilities include electric power, oil refineries, water treatment plants, banking systems, pipelines, transportation systems, and communications. The preliminary report made a strong point on the interdependence of elements of the infrastructure that could show a cascading effect if subject to an EMP attack.
All other infrastructures and their critical functions, the report said, are dependent on the support of electric power and telecommunications, suggesting that emphasis be placed on protecting these two high-leverage systems. At this point, however, none of the monies has been expended to harden the nation’s vulnerable electrical grid system. E-bombs started popping up in headlines only recently, but the concept of EMP weaponry has been around for a long time. Researchers concluded that the electrical disturbance was due to the Compton effect, theorized by physicist Arthur Compton in 1925. Such an attack (from another nation) is still a possibility, but that is no longer the United States' main concern. Bass player, ex-skateboarder and snowboarder (i broke too many bones), Call of Duty addict and blogger. Looks like the perverts from Mattel need to conduct better product testing before going into production. Between the efforts by the partisans to find a way to blame the Bush administration for intelligence failures and the media efforts to rehabilitate the Clinton administration, the report fell through the cracks.

I have no idea how much damage - other than it wasn't the end of electronic technology in America. From what I understand- in order to cause an electronic tsunami, a nuke with a particular yield has to be placed at so many miles above the surface.
If some one tries we will smoke half the planet like a Marlboro and everyone will need a new teevee and stereo.
All these threats are hyped to an extreme extent by people who have a cottage industry promoting fear in the minds of people of less than average intellect. Contrary to perception, most motor vehicles are safe, even those with computerized engine management systems. Thank you for your concern of our security, your input and your article, it is appreciated. But if it was the altitude control thrusters there would be three or more sources of fuel ejection right?
The entire space vehicle itself can be spun up to stabilize the orientation of a single vehicle axis.
If you watch the following video it shows all stages of the Minuteman from beginning to end. You definitely raise a good point, from what I can find it also depends on the yield of the device. The 2004 EMP Commission Executive report shows a more direct EMP from a slow pulse detonation. There are just to many extra things a nuke gives off, so it is easy to tell one has been set off.
While testing a new missile class like the Russians were doing, a live warhead is NOT used.
If you look at the original video of the spiral, you can see that there is a blue beam that you can trace from the spiral down to the mountains. I do it because some of the theories people have don't show any shread of evidence of what they claim it to be. There is some evidence on Gad, it is just hard to find, since its distorted by a few centuries and war (the victor rewrites history). The Above Top Secret Web site is a wholly owned social content community of The Above Network, LLC.
Prompt gamma ray-produced EMP induced a current of 2,500 amps measured by spark gaps in a 570-km stretch of 500 ohm impedance overhead telephone line to Zharyq, blowing all the protective fuses.
The averaged beta particle radiation flux in the belt was 2 x 1014 electrons per square metre per second at 3 minutes after burst, falling to a quarter of that at 10 minutes.
Wakefield's curve above, although it suffers from many instrument problems, explained EMP damage on Hawaii some 1,300 km from the burst point - see map below. Wakefield in a C-130 aircraft 1,400 km East-South-East of the detonation, with a CHAP (code for high altitude pulse) Longmire computer simulation for that curve both with and without instrument response corrections (taken from Figure 9 of the book EMP Interaction, online edition), and the graph on the right which is Longmire's CHAP calculation of the EMP at Honolulu, 1,300 km East-North-East of the detonation (page 7 of Longmire's report EMP technical note 353, March 1985). In 1958 tests Teak and Orange, there was hardly any information at all due to both this instrumentation problem and missile errors. Dittmer et al., DNA EMP Course Study Guide, Defense Nuclear Agency, DNA Report DNA-H-86-68-V2,May 1986). The first (positive) pulse in each case is due to the ionized (diamagnetic) fireball expanding and pushing out the earth's magnetic field, which cannot penetrate into a conductive cavity such as an ionized fireball. Hydro-Quebec lost electric power, cutting the supply of electricity to 6 million people for several hours, and it took 9 hours to restore 83% (21.5 GW) of the power supply (1 million people were still without electric power then).
For example, the 1989 event overloaded and caused the collapse of Quebec Hydro power supply grid.
The tests were linked in with the launching of the Iranian Shahab III from the deck of a ship and then exploding the warhead in mid-air.
EMP Commission referred to research that had been done in determining which countries had the knowledge and possible intentions of undertaking an EMP attack. Shinn told the House Armed Services Committee that China, which is a threat to Taiwan, was working on exotic electromagnetic pulse weapons that can devastate electronic systems using a burst of energy similar to that produced by a nuclear blast.
The effects were so significant that the detonations caused electrical damage in Hawaii almost 900 miles from the site of the detonation. The intensity and speed at which the pulse hits is too quick for ordinary lightning protecters to guard the equipment. The strength of the pulse will depend on intensity of the gamma rays produced by the weapon, the rapidity of the gamma ray burst from the weapon and the altitude at which the detonation occurs. Spence National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for Fiscal Year 2001 had established the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, also referred to as the EMP Commission.
Nor has the Obama administration implemented a full anti-ballistic missile system, especially in the Northeast, leaving the most populated portion of the United States very vulnerable to any missile attack. From the 1960s through the 1980s, the United States was most concerned with the possibility of a nuclear EMP attack. Compton's assertion was that photons of electromagnetic energy could knock loose electrons from atoms with low atomic numbers. On July 9th 1962, scientists detonated a 1.45 megaton nuclear warhead, called Starfish Prime, in outer space above the Pacific Ocean.
The resulting blast created a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that damaged most of the satellites orbiting the Earth at the time and triggered burglar alarms, interrupted telephone communications and even knocked out street lights in Hawaii.
Their vibrating Harry Potter broomstick has teenage girls everywhere going wild, but for all the wrong reasons. It seems like American culture and society exists to act like ether- keeping us occupied with things other than this. I see some websites making it out to be the end of civilization as we know it in this country, and other sites that present a good case that this is way over hyped. Of course, the fear-mongers who post EMP nonsense (always claiming that EMP blasts are "easy") leave out the part about getting a nuke into space!
Two, 3.8 megatons tests detonated roughly 48 and 28 miles above Johnston Island respectively. The third stage is a single engine, I'm not sure about altitude control thrusters, cannot find a good diagram.
The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression. 3.8 megaton Hardtack-Teak high altitude test had been used, the damage would have been greater still. Thomson in 1894 discovered visible evidence of X-rays: glass fluorescence far from a cathode ray tube. Dr Longmire explained Wakefield's curve by a brand new EMP theory called the 'magnetic dipole mechanism' - a fancy name for the deflection at high altitudes of electrons by the Earth's natural magnetic dipole field.
2, had openly published the distant MHD-EMP waveforms from all five 1962 American high altitude detonations Starfish, Bluegill, Kingfish, Checkmate, and Tightrope: 'Recordings made during the high-altitude nuclear explosions over Johnston Island, from July to November 1962, shed new light on the electromagnetic waves associated with nuclear blasts.
EMP currents in the power lines set off ‘hundreds’ of household burglar alarms and opened many power line circuit breakers. Consequently, the pushed-out magnetic field lines become bunched up outside the fireball, which means that the magnetic field intensity increases (the magnetic field intensity can be defined by the concentration of the magnetic field lines in space). Notice that the horizon range for this 150 km burst height is 1,370 km and with the burst location shown that zaps 70 % of the electricity consumption of the United States, but if the burst height were 500 km then the horizon radius would be 2,450 km and would cover the entire United States of America.
Page 12 says:'During the Northeast power blackout of 1965, Consolidated Edison generators, transformers, motors, and auxiliary equipment were damaged by the sudden shutdown. Both countries have been considering limited nuclear attack options that employ EMP as the primary or only means of attack.
The pulse from a nuclear explosion creates a very intense electromagnetic field of electrically charged objects. This E2 component has many similarities to EMPs produced from lightning and can easily be protected since lightning protection readily is available.
Yet, they can be very vulnerable to the pulse effects of a nuclear weapon or radio-frequency weapons.
A test blast over the Pacific Ocean ended up blowing out streetlights in parts of Hawaii, hundreds of miles away.
In the 1958 test, researchers concluded, the photons from the blast's intense gamma radiation knocked a large number of electrons free from oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere. They feared that the resulting electromagnetic burst would knock out electrical equipment across the United States.
Particularly when Iran is estimated to be only months away from being able to build nuclear weapons.
Note also that the photos below show some, not all, street and housing lights knocked out in Hawaii. The test appeared quite spectacular from Hawaii (800 miles away) and at Kwajalein (1600 miles away), with impressive light displays from an artifical aurora lasting up to seven minutes.
Defence Nuclear Agency spent $288,500 on contracting 200 Russian scientists to produce a 17-chapter analysis of effects from the Soviet Union’s nuclear tests, which included vital data on three underwater nuclear tests in the arctic, as well three 300 kt high altitude tests at altitudes of 59-290 km over Kazakhstan.
The original plan for the Starfish test is declassified here, and the first report on the effects is declassified here. On the island of Kauai, EMP closed down telephone calls to the other islands despite the 1962 sturdy relay (electromechanical) telephone technology, by damaging the microwave diode in the electronic microwave link used to connect the telephone systems between different Hawaiian islands (because of the depth of the ocean between the islands, the use of undersea cables was impractical). This motion of charge constitutes a large time-varying electric current which emits the final pulse of EMP, which travels around the world.
This distance is very important because the peak signal has a rise time of typically 20 ns, which implies a VHF frequency on the order of 50 MHz, which cannot extend past the horizon (although lower frequencies will obviously bounce off the ionosphere and refract and therefore extend past the horizon).
In particular, the #3 unit at the Ravenswood power plant in New York City suffered damage when the blackout caused loss of oil pressure to the main turbine bearing.

This component is produced when gamma radiation from a nuclear detonation knocks electrons out of atoms in the upper atmosphere. This flood of electrons interacted with the Earth's magnetic field to create a fluctuating electric current, which induced a powerful magnetic field. These weapons wouldn't affect as wide an area, because they wouldn't blast photons so high above the Earth. Also, amusingly, the tinfoilers might actually be on to something, because lining a room completely with tin foil can be effective if done properly.
The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from this test sent power line surges throughout Oahu, knocking out [some] street lighting, blowing fuzes and circuit breakers, and triggering burglar alarms. If the Starfish Prime warhead had been detonated over the northern continental United States, the magnitude of the EMP would have been about 2.4 times larger because of the stronger magnetic field over the USA which deflects Compton electrons to produce EMP, while the much longer power lines over the USA would pick up a lot more EMP energy than the short power lines in Hawaiian islands, and finally the 1962 commonplace electronic 'vacuum tubes' or 'triode valves' (used before transistors and microchips became common) which could survive 1-2 Joules of EMP, have now been completely replaced by modern semiconductor microchips which are millions of times times more sensitive to EMP (burning out at typically 1 microJoule of EMP energy or less), simply because they pack millions of times more components into the same space, so the over-heating problem is far worse for a very sudden EMP power surge (rising within a microsecond). The second (negative) pulse of the late-time EMP is bigger in the case of the Starfish test, because it is unshielded: this large negative pulse is simply due to the auroral effect of the ionized fireball rising and moving along the earth's magnetic field lines.
MHD-EMP has serious effects for long conductors because its extremely low frequencies (ELF) can penetrate a lot further into the ground than higher frequencies can, as proved by its effect on a long buried power line during the nuclear test of a 300 kt warhead at 290 km altitude on 22 October 1962 near Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan (as part of some Russian ABM system proof tests). Fortunately, a replacement transformer was readily available; otherwise the plant would have been down for a year, which is the normal delivery time for larger power transformers. However if you simply increase the burst altitude, you would then need a megaton explosion, to avoid diluting the energy and hence the effects by increasing the area coverage. In addition, the commission was to determine the feasibility and cost of hardening critical military and civilian systems against such an attack. The resulting electromagnetic pulse induced intense electrical currents in conductive materials over a wide area.
It exploded shortly after take-off in what was described in the Western media as a second 'failed missile test'.
The W-49 warhead used in this test was used on the Thor, Atlas, Jupiter, and Titan missiles, and was a descendant of the versatile Mk-28 thermonuclear bomb. This motion of ionized fission product debris constitutes a large varying electric current for a high yield burst like Starfish, and as a result of this varying current, the accelerating charges radiate an EMP signal which can peak at a minute or so after detonation. In this test, prompt gamma ray-produced EMP induced a current of 2,500 amps measured by spark gaps in a 570-km stretch of overhead telephone line out to Zharyq, blowing all the protective fuses. NOBEL LAUREATE FAILED TO PREDICT THE SEVERE EMP MECHANISMIn October 1957, Nobel Laureate Dr Hans A. At 4 months the altitude for this average flux (plus or minus a factor of 4) is confined to altitudes of 1,100-1,500 km, and it is covering a smaller latitude range around the magnetic equator, from about 20 degrees north to about 20 degrees south. But the late-time MHD-EMP was of special interest because it was of low enough frequency to enable it to penetrate the 90 cm into the ground, overloading a shallow buried lead and steel tape-protected 1,000-km long power cable between Aqmola and Almaty, firing circuit breakers and setting the Karaganda power plant on fire.
Similar effects from the Russian 300 kt nuclear test at 290 km altitude over Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan on 22 October 1962 induced enough current in a 1,000 km long protected underground cable to burn the Karaganda power plant to the ground. Bethe's report, "Electromagnetic Signal Expected from High-Altitude Test" (Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory report LA-2173, secret-restricted data), predicted incorrectly that only a weak electromagnetic pulse (EMP) would be produced by a nuclear detonation in space or at very high altitude, due to vertical oscillations resulting from the downward-travelling hemisphere of radiation. Riddle online: NUCLEAR HIGH ALTITUDE ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE – IMPLICATIONS FOR HOMELAND SECURITY AND HOMELAND DEFENSE. Dr Lowell Wood testified on 8 March 2005 during Senate Hearings 109-30 that these MHD-EMP effects are: 'the type of damage which is seen with transformers in the core of geomagnetic storms. A1-27.The illustration of Richard Wakefield's EMP measurement from the Starfish test is based on the unclassified reference is K. The geomagnetic storm, in turn, is a very tepid, weak flavor of the so-called slow component of EMP. Then, after those neutrons are slowed down a lot by successive inelastic scattering in the air (releasing gamma rays each time), they are finally captured by the nuclei of nitrogen atoms, which causes gamma rays to be emitted and a further EMP signal which adds to the gamma rays from decaying fission product debris. So when those transformers are subjected to the slow component of the EMP, they basically burn, not due to the EMP itself but due to the interaction of the EMP and normal power system operation.
Williamson who was at Kwajalein Atoll when Starfish was detonated in 1962, has an informed page about EMP protection here.But it is not even all one-sided doom and gloom! Kennedy, in a live TV broadcast, warned the Soviet Union’s Premier Khrushchev of nuclear war if a nuclear missile was launched against the West, even by an accident: ‘It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retalitory response upon the Soviet Union.’ That Russian space missile nuclear test during the Cuban missiles crisis deliberately instrumented the civilian power infrastructure of populated areas, unwarned, in Kazakhstan to assess EMP effects on a 570 km long civilian telephone line and a 1,000 km civilian electric power cable! Transformers burn, and when they burn, sir, they go and they are not repairable, and they get replaced, as you very aptly pointed out, from only foreign sources.
The United States, as part of its comparative advantage, no longer makes big power transformers anywhere at all. At 0900 GMT a brilliant while flash burned through the clouds rapidly changing to an expanding green ball of irradiance extending into the clear sky above the overcast. From its surface extruded great white fingers, resembling cirro-stratus clouds, which rose to 40 degrees above the horizon in sweeping arcs turning downward toward the poles and disappearing in seconds to be replaced by spectacular concentric cirrus like rings moving out from the blast at tremendous initial velocity, finally stopping when the outermost ring was 50 degrees overhead.
Full calculations of EMP as a function of burst altitude are also online in pages 33 and 36 of Louis W. And when you want a new one, you order it and it is delivered - it is, first of all, manufactured. Department of Defense Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Nuclear Weapon Effects Test, Evaluation, and Simulation, page 29.).
Wakefield's measurement - the only one at the extremely high frequency that measured the peak EMP with some degree of success, was an attempt to measure the time-interval between the first and secondary stage explosions in the weapon (the fission primary produces one pulse of gamma rays, which subsides before the final thermonuclear stage signal).
As the greenish light turned to purple and began to fade at the point of burst, a bright red glow began to develop on the horizon at a direction 50 degrees north of east and simultaneously 50 degrees south of east expanding inward and upward until the whole eastern sky was a dull burning red semicircle 100 degrees north to south and halfway to the zenith obliterating some of the lesser stars.
It is manufactured, it is shipped, and then it is delivered by very complex and tedious means within the U.S. This condition, interspersed with tremendous white rainbows, persisted no less than seven minutes.'At zero time at Johnston, a white flash occurred, but as soon as one could remove his goggles, no intense light was present.
The longitude of the measurement is clearly in error as it doesn't correspond to the stated distance from ground zero. Signals were picked up by short probe-type antennas, and fed via cathode followers and delay lines to high-frequency oscilloscopes. A second after shot time a mottled red disc was observed directly overhead and covered the sky down to about 45 degrees from the zenith.
Typical sort of delays from the time that you order until the time that you have a transformer in service are one to 2 years, and that is with everything working great. Along the magnetic north-south line through the burst, a white-yellow streak extended and grew to the north from near zenith.
The width of the white streaked region grew from a few degrees at a few seconds to about 5-10 degrees in 30 seconds. Growth of the auroral region to the north was by addition of new lines developing from west to east.
The white-yellow auroral streamers receded upward from the horizon to the north and grew to the south and at about 2 minutes the white-yellow bands were still about 10 degrees wide and extended mainly from near zenith to the south.
Three of the payloads were located in the cavity during its expansion and collapse, one payload was below, and the fifth was above the fully expanded cavity. By about two minutes, the red disc region had completed disappearance in the west and was rapidly fading on the eastern portion of the overhead disc.
This multipoint data set shows that the cavity expanded into an elongated shape 1,840 km along the magnetic field lines and 680 km vertically across in 1.2 s and required an unexpectedly long time of about 16 s to collapse. At 400 seconds essentially all major visible phenomena had disappeared except for possibly some faint red glow along the north-south line and on the horizon to the north. Defense Threat Reduction Agency who states that either the 1958 Teak or Orange shot caused unexpected EMP induced power cuts on Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands:'As it was, one of those two high altitude shots [Teak and Orange, August 1958] did affect the power grid on Oahu, knocking out quite a bit of it. That was unexpected.'Oahu is 71 km long by 48 km wide, and power cables could have picked up significant EMP, especially the MHD-EMP effect caused by fireball expansion.
The detonation point was around 32 km south-south-west of Johnston Island, as well as being 400 km up.
Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirkland Air Force Base, New Mexico, POR-2026 (WT-2026), AD-A995428, December 1965:'This experiment was designed to measure the interaction of expanding nuclear weapon debris with the ion-loaded geomagnetic field. It is however true as Rabinowitz records that the 300 streetlights fused in the Hawaiian Islands by Starfish were only 1-3% of the total number. But I shall have more to say about this later on, particularly after reviewing extensive Russian EMP experiences with long shallow-buried power lines and long overhead telephone lines which Dr Rabinowitz did not know about in 1987 when writing the critical report.
Croom, ‘VLF radiation from the high altitude nuclear explosions at Johnston Island, August 1958,’ J. Expansion is at less than the local Alfven speed, and so energy is radiated as hydromagnetic waves. Why secrecy?Obviously the one factor against 3.8 Mt TEAK causing damage in Hawaii was that the burst altitude of only 77 km was below the horizon as seen from Hawaii, cutting off the highest frequencies of the EMP from reaching Hawaii, although the rising fireball later appeared over the horizon as it gained sufficient altitude. 111 (1965).]The expanding ionised (thus conductive, and hence diamagnetic) fireball excluded and thus ‘pushed out’ the Earth’s natural magnetic field as it expanded, an effect called ‘magnetohydrodynamic (MHD)-EMP’.
But it was on the 9 July 1962, during the American Starfish shot, a 1.4 Mt warhead missile-carried to an altitude of 400 km, that EMP damage at over 1300 km east was seen, and the Starfish space burst EMP waveform was measured by Richard Wakefield. Cameras were used to photograph oscilloscope screens, showing the EMP pickup in small aerials.
Neither Dr Bethe’s downward current model, nor the MHD-EMP model, explained the immense peak EMP. In 1963, Dr Conrad Longmire at Los Alamos argued that, in low-density air, electrons knocked from air molecules by gamma rays travel far enough to be greatly deflected by the earth’s magnetic dipole field. Longmire's theory is therefore called the 'magnetic dipole' EMP mechanism, to distinguish it from Bethe's 'electric dipole' mechanism.

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