How to Test a B-52 Against EMP: Project ATLAS-I

Audacious times generate audacious efforts, especially when national pride and security are perceived to be at stake. Such was the case in the 1950s and 1960s, with the Space Race that started with a Russian sphere whizzing around the planet and ended with Neil Armstrong’s footprint on the Moon. But at the same time, other efforts were underway to answer big questions of national import, such as determining how durable the United States’ strategic assets were, and whether they could withstand the known effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy that could potentially disable a plane in flight. Finding out just what an EMP could do to a plane would take big engineering and a large forest’s worth of trees.

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High Voltage: Lightning simulator can’t send you back to the future

Continuing on with our high-voltage theme, today we have a page describing Marx generators by [Grenadier]. Marx generators are devices that produce pulses of very high voltage with fast rise times. For most of us, that means that they can make neat sparks. For the more serious types out there, that also means that they are great for driving some high-powered lasers, simulating lightning strikes, and even igniting the conventional explosives surrounding the core of a nuclear weapon! His page includes a video of his Marx generator producing some pretty sparks for those of us who aren’t so serious.

We have featured several of [Grenadier’s] projects in the past. This one doesn’t deviate from his normal style of taking a subject and clearly describing it with lots of well-taken pictures.

Recently, he has been working on improving one of his projects that deviates from what he normally does. He is calling it “The Junkbox”. The Junkbox is something like a free online swap meet where you can sell your electronic parts.