The electrical nature of rising plasma ring, concentrated enough electrical charge to effectively destroy electronics packages with a regularity which became routine for the test engineers. First attempts at shielding equipment from these electrical effects proved impossible. The effect reached such a nuisance level that a deliberated investigation of this feature alone was demanded. Tests measured the ground rising currents responsible for this “burnout” effect, current densities often exceeding several thousand amperes. These currents did not flow in the brief instant of a lightning bolt. They were maintained for a sustained time interval. The nanosecond release of intense fission reactions evoked the upward current flow, a vertical avalanche predicated on the enormous concentration of the terrestrial dielectric field. This new awareness of geophysical coupling effects suddenly became the new research objective of this study group.
The nuclear blast produced a penetrating electrical phenomenon, similar to an effect which had been observed before in connection with sudden electrical discharges. RADAR researchers had long observed the impulse phenomenon which burned out nearby receivers and instrument packages. While those effects were usually directed phenomena, directed through RADAR beams of manageable output, these nuclear related were completely unprecedented. Indeed, they were virtually unmeasurable. Even military command centres which were distant from any blast epicenter would be completely vulnerable to the nuclear communications “burnout” effect. Every piece of electronics equipment would be totally and hopelessly incinerated in the upward current rush. Worse than that, if deeply buried and highly protected command centers managed to somehow escape that initial EMP, the residual effects on both the atmosphere and ionosphere would present a second and equally formidable security breach.
Protecting against Nuclear EMP potential was the first goal, if indeed this possibility existed. What kind of shielding could block a sustained lightning discharge? Had anyone in scientific history dealt with sustained discharges of this voltage and volume? Only one. That person was Nikola Tesla, who in 1899 perfected apparatus capable of handling such energetic volumes. Therefore, Tesla patents became a study area of necessity once again. Developing large metallic shields for buried command centers required knowledge of Tesla methods.
Consideration of these catastrophic electric effects against military command centers was of first level importance. Military forces, against whom such weapons were used, would be the helpless victims of a complete and prolonged communications burnout. But if they managed to safely endure the blast scenario, the resultant radiowave “blackout” would bring their best communications efforts to an abrupt and disappointing end. Worse than disappointing, the blackout period could spell total annihilation. After a nuclear blast of sufficient magntude and aerial placement, the blackout effect could last for days. This ionospheric blackout phenomenon, revealed that communications channels could be destroyed across an incredible range of electrical frequencies. This range was found to begin in the ELF bands, the operating frequencies of electrical power generators, and indeed surpass the centimeter waves of super-high frequency RADAR.
After the initial blast and fireball sequence, only the optical and radiative channels would remain clear of the “blackout” effect; a fact having defined consequence in the future of military communications technology. The extended blackout, forced upon the victims of such an event, would prolong a critical time period during which no possibility of an organized military action could be coordinated. No information could be exchanged except through rapidly deployed line-of-sight systems. Therefore, much beyond considerations of the blast shock hazard itself, both the burnout and blackout phenomena were themselves tactical weapons in their own right. Here were nuclear weapons effects which had to be breached.
RADAR engineers had observed these effects during the Second World War, when extremely brief highpower pulsed RADAR bursts were beamed toward communications and other electronics equipment. Proper shielding was able to block the penetrating power of those pulsed RADAR bursts. But without special shielding, electronics packages were incinerated as if exposed to explosive fire. These RADAR effects were reminiscent of reports given by Dr. Tesla, when discussing his Radiant Energy technology. The superficial effects proved to have succinct causes which, on deeper evaluation, proved the difference in power between true impulse singularities and wave bursts. The Teslian phenomenon was the result of succinct electroshocks, unidirectional blasts of singular, well spaced impulses. RADAR wave impact was effective only in that initial wave crest. The sudden rise in electric potential from zero was the active agent in burning and bursting materials. Each subsequent wave alternation added no more energy to the effect. Since only the leading wave crest was the effective energetic portion, the rest was “lost” as heat Thus only “the lead edge” of each long burst was useful in producing EMP effects.
Dr. Tesla taught that effective conservation of the effect relied on conservation of the impulse energy. The impulse singularity was only part of his process however, the separation of charge carriers from aetheric components being the critical factor. For Tesla, the “shock excitation” provided a means for heating the currents to sufficient chaotic levels for their separation in magnetic disrupters. Nevertheless, succinct electric impulses were the only means by which these effects could be most powerfully initiated. While RADAR burst or “EMP” effects were powerful, Nuclear EMP were overwhelming. Nuclear EMP burned electrically conductive systems. Grounded systems were especially vulnerable, but aerial systems packages could be destroyed as well. Dielectric field energy simply focussed into any conductive medium, stimulated sudden high voltage surges, and quickly heated metals. Much of the metal vaporizing power of a nuclear blast was contained in the NUCLEAR EMP phenomenon. If the metal materials were articulate and frail, such as those in any radio apparatus, that system would be burned to a cinder. It was enough for engineers to know that Nuclear EMP rendered radio systems useless. The miliary believed it had in its sights a new means for destroying all enemy communications systems.
Nuclear EMP can do more than destroy electrical systems. Nuclear EMP can kill people. The instantaneous release of penetrating electrical currents was capable of raising deadly geoelectrical discharges in any grounded object This included infantrymen and civilians. By scaling the size of a nuclear blast, perhaps modifying the characteristics of the blast itself, one could maximize the desired Nuclear EMP effects. Hotter, more concentrated, and faster fissile reactions would produce fireball plasma of a requisite structure to concentrate dielectric field energy. EMP from such weapons, however small the actual blast size, would produce tremendous electrically stimulated damage. Military experts hoped to design tiny nuclear weapons packages capable of releasing such maximal Nuclear EMP effects. They perceived that this research avenue represented a new approach toward the final nuclear antidote.
- CHAPTER 3
- CHAPTER 5