An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), also known as transient electromagnetic disturbance (TED), is a short burst of electromagnetic energy that can be generated naturally or artificially. It can manifest as an electromagnetic field, electric field, magnetic field, or conducted electrical current and can disrupt communications and damage electronic equipment. To manage the effects of EMPs, a branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering has been developed.According to Maxwell's equations, a pulse of electrical energy is always accompanied by a pulse of magnetic energy. To achieve the desired frequency characteristics for optimal coupling to the target, wave-forming circuits or microwave generators are used between the pulse source and the antenna.
An EMP typically comprises many frequencies, from a low limit to an upper limit depending on the source. It has a sharp edge of attack and quickly reaches its maximum level.The effects of E2 induction are similar to those of an EMP that radiates from a lightning bolt and can damage electronic devices and sensitive equipment during a shock. Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union first conceived the concept of a flow compression generator with explosive pumping to generate a non-nuclear EMP in 1951. Since then, nations have worked on classifying non-nuclear EMPs.As efforts to defend against natural and artificial electromagnetism are underway, the military is also accelerating its efforts to develop offensive and defensive electromagnetic technologies. Whether caused by man or nature, EMPs and geomagnetic disturbances (GMD) have the potential to permanently interrupt and damage electrical components and entire systems in critical infrastructure sectors on a large scale.
Electromagnetic weapons offer scalability, from microwaves that heat the skin without causing injury to high-powered electromagnetic weapons that can destroy enemy ballistic missiles in flight.The first recorded damage caused by an EMP was during the solar storm of August 1859, also known as the Carrington event. Induced pulses have lower energy than threat pulses, making them easier to create but less predictable. A nuclear weapon detonation at altitudes between 30 and 400 kilometers (18 to 50 miles) can damage or destroy sensitive electronic equipment at ground level. High-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) weapons are NEMP warheads designed to detonate high above the Earth's surface.
They usually send a pulse to any electrical connection present, in addition to radiating a pulse of energy.