Source: Gary Smith, "Electromagnetic Pulse Threats," Testimony before the House Committee on National Security (July 16, 1997)

Source: Gary Smith, “Electromagnetic Pulse Threats,” Testimony before the House Committee on National Security (July 16, 1997)

The threats associated with man-made electromagnetic events have been known for quite some time. Still, it is the view of several industry experts and scientist that, even with this awareness, the grid remains unprotected from these potentially devastating events. Man-made electromagnetic events include: directed RF energy, an electromagnetic pulse, and a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse sourced from a nuclear explosion.

Directed Energy or Radio Frequency Weapons are devices capable of subjecting transformers and other critical infrastructure to localized, but destructive, levels of EMP and they can be built from readily available equipment.

An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) emits a multi-staged ‘Pulse’ of electronic radiation and gamma rays capable of killing or “frying” electronic related infrastructure.

A High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) attack incorporates the detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitude over the earth to artificially achieve an EMP event. When detonated, the three-staged ‘Pulse’ has the capability to target a large geographic are – causing widespread and catastrophic damage below.

Real World Cases

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