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xFree Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack - Download Link

xFree Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack - Download Link

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From the Report:

        We tested a sample of 37 cars in an EMP simulation laboratory, with automobile vintages

ranging from 1986 on. Automobiles of these vintages include extensive

electronics and represent a significant fraction of automobiles on the road today. The

testing was conducted by exposing running and nonrunning automobiles to sequentially

increasing EMP field intensities. If anomalous response (either temporary or permanent)

was observed, the testing of that particular automobile was stopped. If no anomalous

response was observed, the testing was continued up to the field intensity limits of the

simulation capability (approximately 50 kV/m).

    Automobiles were subjected to EMP environments under both engine turned off and

engine turned on conditions. No effects were subsequently observed in those automobiles

that were not turned on during EMP exposure. The most serious effect observed on running

automobiles was that the motors in three cars stopped at field strengths of approximately

30 kV/m or above. In an actual EMP exposure, these vehicles would glide to a

stop and require the driver to restart them. Electronics in the dashboard of one automobile

were damaged and required repair. Other effects were relatively minor. Twenty-five

automobiles exhibited malfunctions that could be considered only a nuisance (e.g.,

blinking dashboard lights) and did not require driver intervention to correct. Eight of the

37 cars tested did not exhibit any anomalous response.

    Based on these test results, we expect few automobile effects at EMP field levels below

25 kV/m. Approximately 10 percent or more of the automobiles exposed to higher field

levels may experience serious EMP effects, including engine stall, that require driver

intervention to correct. We further expect that at least two out of three automobiles on the

road will manifest some nuisance response at these higher field levels. The serious malfunctions

could trigger car crashes on U.S. highways; the nuisance malfunctions could

exacerbate this condition. The ultimate result of automobile EMP exposure could be triggered

crashes that damage many more vehicles than are damaged by the EMP, the consequent

loss of life, and multiple injuries.

 


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