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Did You Know That...

1948 years ago in AD 63 an earthquake in southern Italy by the gulf of Naples seriously damaged the ancient city of Pompeii causing an undetermined number of deaths and spread out destruction, but the locals went to work rebuilding in the same spot until they were buried by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano 16 years later in AD 79.

Galveston TX Hurricanes

Average Brushed or hit every 2.94 years
Average Direct hit every 8.63 years

The Great Storm of 1900 - Sep 8th 1900 - Pop: 42,000 residents
Category 4 @ 135 mph -Great loss of life between 6,000 and 12,000 individuals – officially 8,000

The 1915 Storm, August 17th, Category 4 @ 135 mph
42    people dead in the Galveston area
$60 - 1915 million dollars in damage

Ike Sep 13th 2008 - The third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States
Final landfall in Galveston Texas as a strong cat 2 with cat 5 equivalent storm surge winds extended 120 miles from the center.

Blamed for at least 195 deaths – 74 in Haiti and 112 in the USA 300 still missing. - Damages estimated at 24 billion (2008) US Dollars

Resulted in the largest evacuation in the state of Texas history and the largest search and rescue operation in US history

Nuclear Issues

Chernobyl, An Experiment Gone Wrong

On Saturday, April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 am, one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded.
Ironically, the experiment consisted in testing how the power plant would respond in the event of an accident. The operators at the plant wanted to bring down the power output of the reactor to 25%, but over-confidence, poor training and poor knowledge of how a reactor works caused them to overdo it, and they ended up bringing down the power output to 1%. When they then tried to bring it up to 25%, the reactor overheated and exploded causing the worst nuclear accident in history.

Five U.S. nuclear reactors in earthquake zones

Status of the Nuclear Reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant

How a Reactor Shuts Down and What Happens in a Meltdown

Hazards of Storing Spent Fuel

Timeline: Nuclear Plant Accidents

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl

In graphics: Fukushima nuclear alert

Fukushima victims: homeless, desperate & angry

Japan Panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster "man-made"

More, Did You Know That


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Terrorism: TEDs a New Face for an Old Threat
Posted on Monday, June 25 @ 00:00:00 PDT by editor
By: Edward Maggio and Kevin G. Coleman

There are an estimated 195 million computers in the United States. In 2006 cell phone shipments topped 1 billion. Almost all of our appliances contain electronics as well as our cars. The consumer electronics industry revenues reached an estimated $135.4 Billion in 2006. The modern military is heavily dependent on electronics. Smart bombs, net-centric warfare, fly by wire as well as our entire C4I depends on electronics. In fact, our national security relies on electronics.

So what happens if one day you wake up and nothing works? While it won’t happen nationwide but local electronic outages is becoming a real threat and one that is very difficult to defend against.

Many people recognize an old term – electromagnetic pulse or EMP. The ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) effect was first observed during the early testing of high altitude airburst nuclear weapons. So now we all associate an electromagnetic pulse with a nuclear detonation. That was the case in the past but not today. A destructive EMP can now be produced without the use of a nuclear device. With an electromagnetic weapon, the result electronic pulse has enough energy that any sensitive electronic equipment, in particular semiconductor based devices-computer chips are likely to severely damaged within a business organization. The development of Transient Electromagnetic Devices (TEDs) now makes the threat of an EMP attack much more likely. This development creates a unique threat to the electronic society of the 21st century. The U.S. has developed and implemented infrastructure that is more dependent on electronics, advanced telecommunications, energy supply systems, information/computer networks and transportation systems than other foreign nations.

Today there are multiple EMP weapon configurations that do not require a nuclear explosion. The oldest configuration for a non-nuclear EMP generator is called Magnetic Flux Compression Generator (Magnetocumulative Generator, MCG). This style of device was invented by A. Sakharov in Russia and later by C.M. Fowler in the United States. While this configuration is the oldest it still remains less mature than more recent developments.

The second type of flux generator is the Magneto-Hydrodynamic generator. This is far less mature than the two previously mentioned. However, one clear advantage of MHD generators over is that they require fewer components.

An explosively pumped flux compression generator (EPFCG) is a pulsed power supply that magnetically derives its energy from an explosion. EPFCGs are the most popular as power sources for transient electromagnetic devices (TEDs) because of this simplicity. Theses devices are relatively simple weapons and built of readily available components that cost between $600 and $1,000.

When used in a TEDs device, the output pulse of any of these configurations is directed to a wave shaper or guide and then to an antenna. A frequency converter which turns the lower frequencies into microwave range can be placed between the electromagnetic pulse generator and the antenna that increases the destructive nature of this weapon.

It is not known for certain, though it is suspected, that at very short range the pulse may severely injure or even kill humans due to microwave heating effects in the body. As the basic technology and design continue to advance, the ability to disrupt communications, computing platforms and destroy electronic components.

The most common construction of this type of device includes a coaxial design that is contained in a metal tube, typically aluminum with a copper wire helix and an explosive at one end and a transformer at the other. The cylindrical core of high explosive is surrounded by a conductive or super-conductive armature, an air gap, then a conductive winding and possibly an electromagnetic pulse/wave guide. NOTE: Details omitted for security reasons.

The movement of the armature through the high intensity magnetic field set up by the moderate start current initiates an electromagnetic brake, resisting the explosion and transforming the explosive energy into electrical energy (pulse) in the outer winding and is then discharged. The larger the armature of the device, the larger the electromagnetic field produced.

The output is a rapidly ramping current pulse that reaches its peaks before the destruction of the device. The output pulse is converted directly into an electromagnetic pulse which can damage electronics. Non-published results suggest ramp times in the hundreds nano-seconds with times directly proportionate to the maximum current and power of the device.

The purpose of the pulse is to induce a voltage that heats up the semiconductor material so quickly thereby electrically destroying it. These devices could be used to drive high energy pulsed weapon of mass disruption. Use of an intense electromagnetic pulse against corporate and government data centers, network and telecommunications switching centers, air traffic control centers, SCADA systems controlling the power grid, 911 call centers and virtually any location containing electronic systems.

A device four or five feet across could be used to take out all communications at an airport or from a skyscraper take out the semiconductor devices for several miles in a swath extending out in all unshielded directions. Given the reliance of our economy, and security on electronics, the simplistic design of these devices coupled with the fact that all components other than the high explosives are readily available make a TEDs weapon creates an elevated level of risk. With the current state of these devices and the likelihood of rapid advancement over the next few years, data center designs, and electronics packaging should take protective action now.

Detecting such a weapon present another set of problems. The more effective alternative for business organizations is to harden the operation/data center systems of a business organization. The construction of Faraday cages around critical electronic equipment is the only protective treatments known at this time. The use of copper mesh or 1-inch chicken wire provides protection for large areas like data centers and buildings. Now is the time to build Faraday cages or blankets. If we wait until they are actually needed, it will be far too late. The key to survival becomes in business continuity terms, resilience and redundancy, spread over a large area.

It is reported that the FEMA headquarters buildings are constructed with copper mesh that extends out from the base and is secured by grounding rods. It is also reported that the Presidential limousine is also protected against these type of attacks by nano-shielding.

Current Capabilities:
Effective Distance = Limited Range( feet ) Output Power = Limited Physical Size = Mobile - Portable Production Cost = Low to Moderate (under $3,000 USD) Required Skills = Limited Design = Trade School / Some College Assembly = Trade School Component Availability = Common (all but high explosives) Impact = Limited to Moderate

Short-term Capabilities (3 to 5 years)
Effective Distance = Moderate Range ( fraction of a mile ) Output Power = Moderate Physical Size = Moderate - Mobile Production Cost = Low to Moderate (under $3,000 USD) Required Skills = Limited Design = Trade School / Some College Assembly = High School Education Component Availability = Common (all but high explosives) Impact = High to Extreme

Concerns are rising about the use of electromagnetic pulse weapons aimed at destroying our electronic based infrastructure. Electromagnetic pulse weapons including High Energy Microwave devices are more practical than science fiction. Evidence exists that terrorist groups as well as a few nation states are very interested in EMP weapons. We can expect rapid advancement of these weapons in the next few years and need to proactively protect sensitive infrastructure and critical systems from these type of attacks. While the United State and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are the only two nations thought to have these weapons at this time, the design simplicity of these devices would lead one to conclude that any nation with a 1940s technology base could quickly develop e-Bomb capabilities.

Most Likely Scenario:
The U.S. infrastructure is a major source of substantial economic, industrial, and societal advantages over other nations, but it creates vulnerabilities and critical interdependencies that are potentially disastrous to the United States. It is the Achilles heel in which a well planned and executed attack can disrupt everything that is connected in a massive scale. The most probable scenario is a rogue state or extremist or terrorist group interested in demonstrating its ability to take on a super-power may use a non-nuclear generated electromagnetic pulse to destroy critical infrastructure in a major city. A hostile foreign competition could resort in targeting the data center of a rival with a small portable device as a mechanism to gain competitive advantage.

Potential Targets:
The Power Grid, Wall Street, Air Traffic Control Centers, 911 Centers, Telecommunications Network Switching Centers, Financial Clearing Houses like SWIFT or even the main traffic control systems of a major city.

If an EMP blast was initiated near a corporate data center, the effects could range from reduced power to catastrophic failure based on the location of the EMP detonation the corporate design of a business organization.

Related Issues:
The intentional electromagnetic interference (EMI) weapons, not to be confused with an electromagnetic pulse, has emerged as an increasing threat in the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) arsenal.

Given the numerous government, infrastructure and corporate targets, the open access to electrical components, the simplicity of design, the ease of assembly and the significant economic damage and disruption a small to medium size TEDs discharge would create, it is not unreasonable to expect extremist groups and or terrorist to acquire and use such a weapon in the next 18 to 24 months.

The threat to American businesses is not going to decrease as terrorists research the potential of such devices and as organized criminal organizations come up with ways to profit from EMP devices. Reports from Russia suggest that these devices have been used to disable bank security systems and to disrupt police communications. Another report suggests a London bank may also have been attacked. While these incidents are hard to prove, they are currently realistic and foreseeable. The threat of an EMP attack is real and increasing. Technology has matured to the point where practical electromagnetic pulse weapons are becoming technically and economically feasible. The ability to generate a sizeable electromagnetic pulse without the use of a nuclear bomb even further increases the threat. Current war policies do not address non-nuclear generated electromagnetic pulse weapons.

Key Terms:
TED – Transient Electromagnetic Device HEM – High Energy Microwave HPM – High Power Microwave DEW – Directed Energy Weapon EMP – Electromagnetic Pulse HEMP - High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse e-Bomb – electronic bomb EC - Electronic Combat, RF - Radio Frequency Weapons

Key Facts:
1. The Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) effect was first observed during the early testing of high altitude airburst nuclear weapons.
2. Fiber Optic communications is not susceptible to EMP but all the supporting electronics for routing and switching are vulnerable.
3. Commercial computer equipment is particularly vulnerable to EMP effects.
4. Telecommunications equipment can be highly vulnerable due to the presence of lengthy copper cables between devices.
5. Flux Compression Generators are a conventional way to produce electromagnetic pulses.
6. Explosively pumped flux compression generators are the most mature technology applicable to bomb designs.
7. The most effective method is to shield the equipment in an electrically conductive enclosure often called a Faraday cage.
8. The EMP created by a 1.4 Megaton bomb detonated about 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most of the unprotected electronics in the entire Continental United States.
9. EMP has no known effect on living organisms.
10. Hardening is the term used to describe systems and electronics that have been shielded against the effects of an electromagnetic pulse.
11. The cost of shielding equipment for EMP is about $1,000 USD per square meter.
12. Systems susceptible to a TEDs attack include anything with electronic wiring--from airplanes and automobiles to computers, railroad tracks, and communication lines.
13. The Indian military has studied FCG devices in detail but at this time it is not believed they have a significant development program.
14. The Swedish Daily Svenska Dagbladet reported that the Swedish military has bought and tested a Russian electronic bomb using high-power microwave signals to knock out electronic.
15. There are unconfirmed reports that a small portable e-bomb has been developed that can be used to knock out a single computer or vehicle.
16. Think about how many devices that are critical for a business require electrical power from computers, phone systems, elevators, fax machines and even the vehicle ignition systems of trucks and automobiles.

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