Re: UK test classified weapon on US Ranges

Message posted by Hal on July 27, 2002 at 23:02:17 PST:

I worked on these projects some years ago--I say these, because I read two similar, yet dis-similar programs. One is HPM and the other is an EMP weapon.

There are two terms used interchangably in this report to describe one thing, yet the terms shouldn't be interchangable. HPM is high powered microwave transmission, generated by a fairly usual method, but with much higher radiated powers, capable of transmitting either in CW mode or pulse--like a radar--over a considerable time interval.

The EMP--electromagnetic pulse--weapon generates a one shot, extremely high powered burst of broadband RF energy. EMP warheads have been in the US inventory since the early 90's and saw some use in Desert Storm. EMP simulators have been used by the Navy for testing their ships electronic systems degree of nuclear EMP hardening. I have a photo of one of these simulators. It resembles a short cylinder--8 to 10 feet in diameter--topped by a conical roof with wires (antenna) extending out to an array of poles surrounding the structure. This device didn't use the explosive method of generating the pulse.

EMP weapons seek to reproduce in a small scale the massive electromagnetic energy generated by a nuclear detonation. In the course of my work on EMP, I purchased a textbook on this subject--and when the DoD didn't reimburse me for it, I kept it when I retired. I was tapped for the project because I could understand the math and physics. Tom would appreciate the physics involved.

The concept of an RF weapon--HPM??--isn't new. I have a 1928 issue of World Radio Magazine that proposes a 10 GHz RF "death ray." Aviation Week, in the 80's, reported on a Soviet device, the purpose of which was to cause effects ranging from confusion to death (depending on the exposure and intensity) to enemy troops. The test reported on in the magazine apparently proved deadly to the scientists who were reportedly standing behind the large antenna. Antennas have a back lobe which can be on the order of 20-30 db down from the main lobe--oops!!

I'll look for my text book and post its particulars.


In Reply to: UK test classified weapon on US Ranges posted by F-117A Webmaster on July 26, 2002 at 23:05:06 PST:


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