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Radiation Hardening for Solar Storms


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Radiation Hardening for Solar Storms
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-07-26, 00:42

I was just reading a NASA story about how we all dodged a bullet from a solar storm that went widely unreported in 2012 and found myself reading about radiation hardening afterward.

It's certainly a technical discussion that's well over my level of education, but I can't help but wonder about the possibility (and cost) of manufacturing items built to withstand these natural EMPs.

The best anecdotal story about the havoc these storms can wreak is from the "Carrington" storm of the mid-1800s, when telegraph stations were burned down due to sparks created by electrical surges traveling down the telegraph lines.

I've never thought about it in detail until now, but EMPs actually change the crystalline structure of electronics components, so there's no easy repair to these items - you need to remanufacture components from scratch, and you might be forced all the way back down the line to pre-electronics components if all of your electronics equipment has been damaged.

A pretty startling concept.



...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Moogs
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2014-07-26, 11:31

You want startling? I too am no electrical engineer, but I've read it takes the power companies / manufacturing companies roughly 12 months to build commercial grade transformer rigs. A bad solar EMP would trash most of them as I understand it, and we have almost none in reserve (too expensive for today's short-term financial wizards). And you can't build more without electricity. Nice situation we've saddled ourselves with, eh?

The strange thing is, I was watching the solar flare "news" either last summer or summer before (during the solar maximum period) and there were a few blips mentioned on social media about flares that were spotted, etc, but not this storm you're talking about. I honestly believe with stuff like this, when it's imminent, we're kept in the dark (no pun intended). Only thing worse than getting hit and having people panic, would be people panicking 24 hours before it hits.

You know how the human race works (or fails to work), Drewmeister... we never do what we need to do until something terrible happens first. But we won't have a second chance if our electrical grid and parts of our industrial infastructure are simultaneously trashed over a very short period. We'll all be transported back to the 1800s for a long while. (For more fun, check out the 2014 Speeder Bike / Ebola thread. )

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Frank777
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2014-07-29, 03:32

I was thinking about this situation the other day, and thought that this is a real potential market for an entrepreneur.

A lab outfitted to definitively test consumer and commercial products for EMP vulnerabilities will do great business in the coming years.
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Moogs
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2014-07-29, 09:12

Well, unless something has specifically been hardened by design to withstand it, it's going to get fried. That accounts for 100% or close to 100% of consumer and business electronics I suspect. Probably close to 100% of vehicles (cars, planes, trains...). Not much out there right now that would pass a test unless you're a head of state or work for a head of state. That being common knowledge I'm not sure how many businesses would pay to test their existing stuff. I suppose as more hardened products arrive in the market, a testing business would do very well though.

Wouldn't be surprised to see UL start offering a service like this in the near future.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2014-07-29, 09:14

They've looked at insurance claims on electronics after known electromagnetic storms, and there are obvious upticks. It's a real market.
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-07-29, 10:26

Okay guys, let's do this.
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kscherer
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2014-07-29, 11:06

Drew, are you a secret prepper?
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-07-29, 11:41

LOLOLOLOL yes.



Actually, no. I'm still honing my hoarding skills


...
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2014-07-30, 22:51

Prepper kit:


(No bricks or concrete to tie into? You're hosed. Get more ammo and set up early.)




(Possibly not applicable in case of EMP ^^ but highly useful in pre-asteroid panics, Ebola outbreak panics, and other madness that doesn't blot out the sun.)




...into the light of a dark black night.
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curiousuburb
Antimatter Man
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
 
2016-03-14, 09:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
Prepper kit:

(No bricks or concrete to tie into? You're hosed. Get more ammo and set up early.)
Pic of window cage... but NOT a Faraday Cage, which might actually preserve your electric gadgetry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post

Might be fine in America... Not so easy to get in more civilised countries.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post

(Possibly not applicable in case of EMP ^^ but highly useful in pre-asteroid panics, Ebola outbreak panics, and other madness that doesn't blot out the sun.)
See above re: cage... although, to be fair, charging ability might suck if kept indoors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post

For a split second my brain saw Bacon. But quality BBQ victuals of many kinds might do.
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Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
You forgot Beer. (your last image didn't load so I didn't know you'd planned beverages until replying )

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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TheOtherDave
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
 
2016-03-14, 16:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
You want startling? I too am no electrical engineer, but I've read it takes the power companies / manufacturing companies roughly 12 months to build commercial grade transformer rigs. A bad solar EMP would trash most of them as I understand it, and we have almost none in reserve (too expensive for today's short-term financial wizards). And you can't build more without electricity. Nice situation we've saddled ourselves with, eh?
Yep. Especially since it'd essentially be just dumb luck if a factory capable of manufacturing them still has power afterwards. We might end up having to build a steam-powered early industrial-age factory complex just to make the first few parts to rebuild our information-age infrastructure (on the maybe-plus-maybe-minus side, the steam punk people would probably be able to get more hipster cred... "We liked steam-powered stuff before it was necessary to reinvent it all to save civilization!")

Last edited by TheOtherDave : 2016-03-14 at 16:49. Reason: Yes, I know it's an old post. I don't care... the thread was already rez'd, anyway.
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