[kwlug-disc] EMP attack from the sun

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Thu May 19 15:33:44 EDT 2011


----- Original Message -----
> How big are you thinking? Solar flares disrupt things somewhat more
> often than you would think.
> 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomagnetic_storm#Disrupted_systems
> 
> Power grid in 1989 in Quebec:
> 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_1989_geomagnetic_storm
> 
> Communications in 2011 in China:
> 
> http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-huge-solar-flare-radio-satellite.html

I took the opportunity to read about this. The wikipedia page on EMP talks about the effect of a solar flare is like the E3 effect from a nulcear explosion at altitude.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse#E3

To summarize (for those to lazy to click the link). The solar flare (like the nuclear blast) deforms the geomagnetic field around the planet and this moving field induces current *in long conductors*. Suggesting that electronic devices will be safe and that surge protectors could work. This doesn't describe how satellites, with presumably short conductors, could be destroyed by a similar EMP.

The important EMP is the E1 of a nuclear explosion at altitude. This is very short but intense and can destroy electronics.
-- 
John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102 
Fx: 519-883-8533 

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