Im aware that a military could launch a nuclear weapon high above a country and cause a large EMP burst, but is there a more practical and smaller scale application of this kind of attack?
For instance, can a ship launch an EMP missile to hit a enemy base? Can a weaponized EMP (something powerful enough to cause a significant amount of damage) burst be caused by something non-nuclear that could fit into a small missile? Or even a grenade?
I guess what Im asking is that outside of nuclear explosions is it possible to weaponize EMP to use in a combat situation? If not, why not? Is battery technology whats holding it back? Is EMP too difficult to get right?
The wikipedia article goes a little over my head as I dont have a good understanding of the basics of electrical engineering. It looks like all the non-nuclear stuff is powered by mains and doesnt look to be possible to weaponize or make portable.
EMP bursts occur naturally around lightning strikes. Thus most Countries are already protecting their weapon systems against it. I suppose some smaller countries may not be, but overall it would be a waste of money to develop such a system.
The first widely protected systems were in commercial airliners.
According to Daniel Ocean, however, you CAN use it to wipe out the security systems of a Las Vegas Casino. LOL!
My understanding was that we didn’t know how to make an EMP without using a nuclear weapon, badly written movies aside. I haven’t read anything about it in a couple of decades, though, so I’m willing to have my ignorance fought.
Any magnet-based engine produces EM energy; turn it on and off quickly and you’ve got yourself a Pulse. Place an old-fashioned (CRT) monitor next to your current tower computer, flick it on and off, and you’ll see EMP affect the display.
EM is also measurable at high levels under large power lines, and near electrical generation plants.
Your refrigerator, electric oven, breadmaker, all produce EM energy. It’s not tough to produce, it just requires an awful lot of weight and energy for very little benefit.
At a college I once worked at, there were researchers with grants to develop conventional EMP bombs. (With the lab at a neaby AF base.) Lots of discussion about how much money they were getting. Not so much about the details. Generically described along the lines of the Wikipedia article.
One of the researchers had a name similar to mine so sometimes someone would try to contact me about it so I had to point them in the right direction.
Note that the lightning analogy is not all that correct. While it’s a pulse, there are certain frequencies that can make up the pulse. The right ones are good at frying solid state circuits. While you won’t get the gamma and x-rays of a nuke, with the right size coils you can at least get frequencies in a desirable range.