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Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) / Geomagnetic Disturbance (GMD)

Whether caused by man or nature, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) events have the potential to disrupt and permanently damage electrical components and entire systems within most critical infrastructure sectors and impact large-scale infrastructure. While EMP hardening standards exist for military applications, they are often too case-specific, expensive, and impractical for the private sector to implement, leading to very little action being taken to address this threat, despite it having the potential to affect the nation at large.

The Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T’s) Critical Infrastructure Resilience activities aim to improve understanding of the effects of EMP/GMD events on communications infrastructure and drive research activities to provide practical, data-driven, specific, and actionable information, concepts, techniques, technologies, and tools to critical infrastructure owners and operators to potentially mitigate the impact of and/or recover from EMP/GMD events.

Illustration of a Geomagnetic Disturbance
A geomagnetic disturbance is a temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a solar wind shock wave and/or cloud of magnetic field that interacts with the Earth's magnetic field.
Illustration of an electromagnetic pulse
An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic energy produced by a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, considered capable of widespread damage to power lines, telecommunications, and electronic equipment.







Last Updated: 12/26/2023
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