Electronic Weapons: January 13, 2001


The U.S. is building a new facility to test American military equipment for its protection against radiation bursts from nuclear weapons. For years this was done for items like nuclear warheads. It was long ago realized that nuclear warheads would encounter radiation blasts from other warheads. Such radiation will short out modern electronics (using microprocessors). Such testing was also done on aircraft electronics. The new facility has a chamber large enough to drive a tank into, and test to see if the shielding on a modern tanks many electronic systems can survive the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) generated by nuclear explosions. Other large items of military hardware can also be tested. An EMP spreads much farther than the heat and blast of a nuclear explosion.


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