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Radio's Revenge!

Retired Article • Written by Jason Bellows

In 1993, the USAF, US Navy, and the University of Alaska embarked on a joint project called High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP. The name really says it all: this project is dedicated to the study of Earth’s ionosphere, which it generally does by pointing a high gain antenna skyward, and turning on the juice which causes it to generate a powerful electromagnetic field.

Such antenna is called an ionospheric heater, and was first conceived by Nikola Tesla around the year 1899–though his experiments never achieved the power output available today. Presently there are several institutions in the world which have ionospheric heaters, and some are equivalent to HAARP in the power they deliver–enough to cause man-made aurorae, and perhaps enough to damage a spacecraft in planetary orbit.

Is it a preposterous notion to think that governments would go to the length of wrapping a weapon in an otherwise benign looking science facility? After all, it is just a theory surrounding a government operation and claiming a conspiracy, but consider the possibilities.

The electromagnetic E-Bomb is a weapon designed around one aspect of the Atomic Bomb: the electromagnetic pulse (EMP). This invisible, intensely fluctuating magnetic field can overload and destroy electronic circuits within its area of influence. While the E-Bomb would not yield the same spectacular light show as the EMP weapon that was seen in the film “The Matrix”, it would be far more deadly. People working around high EM emissions of that type generally wear a Faraday cage on their head because the brain is an electronic device, and can be susceptible to an electromagnetic pulse. In the case of “The Matrix”, I’m not sure how the heroes survived … let alone their ship. Maybe the Nebuchadnezzar used vacuum tube technology, which is not vulnerable to such an assault.

An ionospheric heater isn’t an E-Bomb, but they work through the same principles: overloading things with electromagnetic energy. Much more like the antennae at HAARP are the high gain antennae used in radio nests during World War II. Many radio operators were trained to aim their antenna at enemy troops and turn it on if there was no other option. Demonstrations of this improvised weapon consisted of popping an egg or heating up a can with the radio waves. Such a tactic probably wouldn’t have stopped anyone, but it wouldn’t have done them any good either.

But the HAARP antennae are much larger, and much more powerful than those used in World War II era radio nests. Powerful enough to down a spacecraft as some conspiracists claim? Unlikely. That honor is reserved for the Large Millimeter Telescope in Mexico.

The LMT is a joint project between the US Military and Mexico. Its primary mission is to use radio waves to probe the origins of the universe, but Phillip Coyle–who was director of operational testing and evaluation–said that officials refused to fund the project unless there was a “strong potential for military use.” The radio telescope is designed to find and train in on very small objects in the sky. It’s harmless to distant galaxies, but circuitry inside man-made satellites in Earth orbit are vulnerable to such levels of HF radio. If the antenna were trained upon an unhardened satellite, the conductor or semiconductor materials inside would be overloaded, and the circuitry fragged.

Nevertheless, the people who man the LMT maintain that it is a facility for science, and they are astronomers–uninterested in making war. Despite the telescope’s potential use as a weapon, they maintain that it isn’t really a weapon, nor is it meant to be. That makes me feel better.

Article suggested by Anthony C.

Article written by Jason Bellows, published on 05 July 2006. Jason is a contributing editor for DamnInteresting.com.

Article design and artwork by Alan Bellows. Edited by Alan Bellows.
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54 Comments
ynggrsshppr
Posted 05 July 2006 at 07:37 pm

I'd like to know if anyone has actually gotten their brains fried by EMP, and if tinfoil hats would do any good to protect you.


another viewpoint
Posted 05 July 2006 at 07:47 pm

GREAT SCOTT!!!
....if the tin foil hat doesn't do anything for you, try a colandar! After that, it's back to the future.


kjsnvf
Posted 05 July 2006 at 08:19 pm

Just an interesting side note: the HAAPR facalitie in Alasha is the only thing blacked out on google earth.


kjsnvf
Posted 05 July 2006 at 08:21 pm

Just an interesting side note: the HAAPR facalitie in Alaska is the only thing blacked out on google earth.


mrmonett
Posted 05 July 2006 at 08:21 pm

The conspiracy theories about the LMT are silly. The LMT is a sensitive radio receiver, similar to your fm radio. It listens to signals generated thousands of light years away. It is not a radar system. It has no transmitter to fry satellites. If you are worried about high power transmitters, check out the observatory at Aricebo. It has been used for many years for radar studies in our solar system, and nobody has suggested there are ulterior motives in its operation.


wh44
Posted 05 July 2006 at 08:24 pm

Paragraph 2: "Telsa" should be "Tesla".

I am terribly confused: everything I've read about EMPs, says it should be relatively harmless to humans, but fry anything metal: I recall reports of fused traffic light switches from EMPs - traffic light switches are pretty hefty. Apparently the larger the piece of metal, the more electrons are slammed around and the more heat is generated. A Faraday cage normally prevents electrical fields penetrating to the inside, but if you have a metal (tinfoil) hat in such a situation, it would probably melt and still be insufficient to absorb the electric shock wave.

Are you sure it is EMP, and not intense but otherwise "normal" electromagnetic radiation? A Faraday cage in that situation makes perfect sense.


systmh
Posted 05 July 2006 at 08:27 pm

i think you mean Tesla.
i'm embarrassed to say, but i used to think the great inventor's name was Telsa... and i went about 3 years before correcting myself. i'm still not used to the sound of 'Tesla.'
anyway, here's something strange about the HAARP conspiracy mess--the guv says that it can't be used as a weapon because it's power output, while high compared to other antennae, is very, very low compared to the normal fluctuations already present in the ionosphere. but if this is true, wouldn't it be more cost-effective to simply research those fluctuations? how can such a weak influence be of use to scientists?
i think they should train it on a field of corn.. it would be fun to see it rain popcorn over a few hectacres.


systmh
Posted 05 July 2006 at 08:41 pm

oh, and something else-
Link
that's the coordinates for the HAARP facility(as found it the wikipedia article)--displayed on google maps. half of it is cut off because it switches over to a lower-resolution satellite image, but it's still visible... on google earth, i went to the same coordinates and allthough it's not covered up, the resolution is so poor that nothing at all is visible.


Brett Holman
Posted 05 July 2006 at 08:59 pm

According to the linked article, Coyle spoke in general terms: "officials wouldn´t fund a project unless it had strong potential military value". He was last in office in early 2000 (ie he left when Clinton did) so it's not clear from the article that he would have any specific knowledge of this project.

If this is a secret weapon, it must be the first one with a public outreach programme, and where you can follow the course of its construction on the web!

I tend to doubt it's a weapon. The military funds a surprising amount of blue sky research, with no obvious military pay-offs -- my favourite examples are the long-running NATO science conferences, on such topics as string theory and neutron stars. But more often they invest in the development of technologies which they may one day find useful -- the Ballistic Missile Defence Organisation funded the Clementine moon probe as a test of various technologies and capabilities. (And let's not forget DARPA's role in creating the Internet.) Maybe DARPA wants experience and data out of the LMT for building some future (and actually secret) weapon. Millimeter-scale wavelength radar would also be handy for detecting tiny pieces of space junk in orbit. Anyway, a massive radio telescope is not an ideal platform for tracking a fast-moving satellite or ballistic missile, not if you want to focus a narrow energy beam onto it.

OK, I found this via slashdot:

The Large Millimeter Wave Telescope (LMT) program is the U.S.-complement to a coordinated U.S.-Mexico project. The DARPA program is providing technology assessments for design, systems integration and technology-leading metrology for a 50-meter aperture, fully steerable millimeter wave radio telescope. The fully developed telescope features a sophisticated laser metrology system to maintain precise alignment of the optics, and real-time closed loop adaptive control to maintain a near-perfect parabolic surface at all pointing angles and under most environmental conditions.

That seems to suggest DARPA is interested in the optical technology.


enderw88
Posted 05 July 2006 at 09:02 pm

There is an easy way to debunk the idea that the LMT is weaponized: slew rate. I doubt the LMT could traverse quickly enough to maintain target on a satellite. It could potentially target geostationary satellites, but there aren't many of them. Most are geosynchronous, which mean they move over face of the earth in a pattern that repeats once per day. They have a much higher angular rate than any deep space object. LEO satellites would practically be invisible to the LMT because they would flash by too quickly. So it it is very unlikely that the LMT could target an earth satellite long enough to put useful (damaging) amounts of energy on the target.


PresMatt
Posted 05 July 2006 at 09:15 pm

I believe all it takes for an EMP device to destroy circuitry is a pulse... if that's the case slew rate wouldn't be a problem. Find the trajectory of the object you want to fry and aim ahead of it as with bird hunting... of course the timing required for this would be extremely sensitive. You'd have to calculate the speed of the object, the speed of the EMP pulse, account for atmospheric interference, the curvature of the earth, etc... That having been said, if NASA can land a robot on mars or put a lander on an asteroid, I'm pretty sure they could make the calculations required to fry a satellite in Earths orbit. Although it's plausible in my opinion, I highly doubt that is its intended use. We have ICBM's that could more easily take out a spacecraft/satellite in flight.


Puppeto
Posted 05 July 2006 at 10:36 pm

Hah, finally a story I suggested gets posted!

Anyway, the idea of an EMP doing neurological damage to a human would seem pretty flawed. Years and years of nuke tests with bystanders being exposed to the emp blast that comes with your typical nuke have been escaped with their health intact, that is unless, they were exposed to fallout or were too close to the blast.

I'll also refer everyone to a story posted on this very site a long time ago. Starfish Prime http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=24 if the article was correct the high-altitude nuke shutdown over 300 streetlights, fused powerlines, and cooked circuits throughout Hawaii, yet no reports of neurological or nerve damage was reported. Not a single case. If past events tell us anything about the damange of an EMP on the brain it would tell us this. That would have to be one HELL of an EMP.

Kudos on the story, I'll be looking for more to submit. :)


cutterjohn
Posted 05 July 2006 at 11:34 pm

DI turning into a conspiracy website?

I particularly liked the assumption that “strong potential for military use” means secret weapon. Thats a comparison on par with saying a microwave oven is a lethal household object. Sure, if you hold your head inside it is, but other household tools work better, and it is only worth mentioning in the abstract.

Just because something has a military use doesn't mean it is a weapon. I could see any number of research and detection roles that the installation could serve that would benefit the military, without ever once attempting to fry somebody.


scottmcl
Posted 05 July 2006 at 11:42 pm

Wasn't there some sort of EMP device used in the current Iraq war? I swear I heard something about that.


Mad Cow
Posted 06 July 2006 at 01:15 am

The trick that the radio operators pulled in WWII was more likely attributed to microwaves. That was the standard long range communication technology then, and would literally cook things placed in front of a high energy signal. I had a science teacher who talked about some guys working in the artic at a microwave radio transmitter. When they got cold, all they had to do was jump infront of of one of the dishes for a couple seconds and they were toasty warm. Not too many drawbacks to one's health...except the fact that our eyes are not able to release and dissipate heat as well as the rest of our body, so they were slowly boiling and putting too much preasure on their eyes and making themselves blind. But hey, they were warm.


sleepwalker
Posted 06 July 2006 at 01:32 am

kjsnvf said: "Just an interesting side note: the HAAPR facalitie in Alasha is the only thing blacked out on google earth."

coordinates please.


Marius
Posted 06 July 2006 at 02:31 am

Isn't a radio telescope a reciever only? Radar only works if you have something to bounce your signal off of, and at intragalactic distances you'd have to wait years, centuries, or millenia for your signals to be reflected.


knightrider
Posted 06 July 2006 at 03:09 am

I remember visiting a Listening station in Yorkshire, trained on Russia. There was a1-2 mile 'dead zone' where noone could enter, and you had to enter the facility througha lead-lined tunnel. All that because this station was a massively powerful microwave antenna, so it would cook you.


xfrosch
Posted 06 July 2006 at 07:57 am

kjsnvf said: "Just an interesting side note: the HAAPR facalitie in Alaska is the only thing blacked out on google earth."

No. At the very least, the roof of the White House and the roof of the Capitol are blacked (beiged) out.

I would expect that several other sensitive military installations are similarly treated.


xfrosch
Posted 06 July 2006 at 08:17 am

Mad Cow said: "The trick that the radio operators pulled in WWII was more likely attributed to microwaves. That was the standard long range communication technology then, and would literally cook things placed in front of a high energy signal. I had a science teacher who talked about some guys working in the artic at a microwave radio transmitter. When they got cold, all they had to do was jump infront of of one of the dishes for a couple seconds and they were toasty warm. Not too many drawbacks to one's health…except the fact that our eyes are not able to release and dissipate heat as well as the rest of our body, so they were slowly boiling and putting too much preasure on their eyes and making themselves blind. But hey, they were warm."

proof of concept:

http://www.neowin.net/forum/lofiversion/index.php/admin/lofiversion/t171425.html


dmd
Posted 06 July 2006 at 08:47 am

xfrosch said: "the roof of the White House and the roof of the Capitol are blacked (beiged) out."

Not true any more. Both are now perfectly visible, as of the most recent imagery update.


schuylercat
Posted 06 July 2006 at 09:28 am

I love this conspiracy stuff; secret weapons, the whole “X-Files” vibe of it. I actually WANT it to be a conspiracy and a big secret weapon thingy out there in Mexico, although the slew rate vs. tracking conversation seems valid – but how about this: tracking a little ahead of a target like shooting birds/skeet would not be needed, would it? A radio pulse like that would move at roughly the speed of light, and a target only a few hundred miles up would be easy prey…IF the dish could move omnidirectionally, and fast enough. And still, why worry about accuracy? The dish would throw out a pretty wide blast – a shotgun without a choke, rather than a rifle bullet. Am I crazy here?

And scottmcl: I’m with you - I thought I heard that we’d used some form or another of EMP in the gulf. Anyone? Anyone?

And last - I need to look, but I vaguely recall a story about an industrial video tape degausser which was used to murder someone (not by hitting them over the head with it, either). That's magnetism, rather than RF, but hey - it's all scrambled brains in the end, right?


Misfit7707
Posted 06 July 2006 at 10:51 am

Why would the military of any country be concerned about something that can act as an EMP? Apart from an actual mass catastrophy like what would happen from an omnidirectional EMP, anything aimed via dishes or telescopes would probably be aimed either at satellites or the less likely missiles. Now, I know what a faraday cage looks like (unless the Mythbusters had it wrong (Mythbusters ROCKS, by the way)) and really, it just looks like a gold-colored screen door box. That same screen is probably light enough, and flexible enough to obviously, as mentioned in the article, be wrapped around people's heads to protect their brains, or if you're a military man.... maybe satellites?

Kinda makes you wonder if military satellites will have a protective layer of faraday cage around them from now on? Unless somebody already thought of it... or...

Also, is there no EMP powerful enough to penetrate a faraday cage? Like I said, the cage I saw in Mythbusters looked literally like a screen door, only gold-colored.

Hey one interesting [electro]magnetism rumor. I've heard that something like one teaspoon worth of dark matter (like that taken from a black hole) placed a certain distance from Earth would wipe out all electronics on the planet. If you were to place that same teaspoon of dark matter anyhwere between one and ten miles from yourself, the magnetism would be so powerful as to literally rip out every molecule of iron from your body. Still need to check the facts on that, but it doesnt seem all that unplausable, and is really interesting to think about.

Okay, so maybe I'm rambling.


PRiME
Posted 06 July 2006 at 11:24 am

The technology could be used to shutdown entire countries, if moved to space. Which is likely, hence a Military use for it.

I prefer this such technology rather then a nuclear type which has long lasting desasterous effects, so good on them if they can do it. Provided it doesn't fry peoples brains that is (),.


ChickenHead
Posted 06 July 2006 at 12:40 pm


cutterjohn said: "DI turning into a conspiracy website?

I particularly liked the assumption that “strong potential for military use” means secret weapon.
...
Just because something has a military use doesn't mean it is a weapon.

You're not kidding cutterjohn, these comments are becoming rather silly and far reaching. And you hit the nail on the head perfectly; not everything the military uses is a weapon.

One thing many people don't understand about telescopes (for any part of the electromagnetic spectrum) is that they are made to focus *very* faint signals. And those signals are focused onto extremely sensitive detectors. You are not going to be able to create a device that is both a telescope AND "gun". If the detectors are capable of picking up the faint signals from deep space; then they would be destroyed by any (even marginal) signal directed out from the telescope. The act of "firing" such a device would ruin it from every being able to be used again as a detector. Additionally, a parabolic dish (like the LMT) is designed to gather spread out energy waves and focus them down into a small beam. Running that in reverse as is implied with it being some type of "ray gun" would weaken the strenght of the resulting beam by spreading it out.

So, everyone else, let's put this silly "it's a possible weapon" nonsense to rest.


TeyNur
Posted 06 July 2006 at 12:45 pm

Misfit7707 says:

"Why would the military of any country be concerned about something that can act as an EMP?"

Do a search on the following term "Tesla howitzer" and you'll get a little deeper into the conspiracy of Longitudinal Wave Interferometry. Which brings to mind an innocent encounter I had with a DOD Engineer one day on a plane to Seattle. In our conversation I learned what he did and the general area of where he was headed and deduced that he was headed for HAARP. I then made the mistake of asking him his opinion on the use of "LWI" and if it could really do what had been reported about it. I think the temp dropped about 20 degrees as he sized me up and wondered if he'd just fracked his security clearance. He asked very matter of factly who I worked for and after I replied and satisfied him that I wasn't a threat, he very matter of factly told me to never ask such questions again and that was the last thing he said to me for the entire flight. I got the message and didn't ask anymore questions.

Conspiracy? Who knows. But Tesla knew how to give power to the entire world and conversely how to use that same knowledge to destroy it. Directed Energy is a scary thing when you think about it... You'll probably sleep better if you don't.


ChickenHead
Posted 06 July 2006 at 01:14 pm


schuylercat said: "I love this conspiracy stuff; secret weapons, the whole “X-Files” vibe of it. I actually WANT it to be a conspiracy and a big secret weapon thingy out there in Mexico, although the slew rate vs. tracking conversation seems valid – but how about this: tracking a little ahead of a target like shooting birds/skeet would not be needed, would it?

You guys are thinking about this too hard. Spacecraft are quite simple to track. They're not like a bird or rabbit that randomly change direction and are hard to "lead". Orbits of spacecraft are very predictable and precise. They change very slowly over long periods of time. If you know where it is and which direction and speed is is going "now", you can very easily know right where it is going to be "later". Orbital Mechanics - it's all just a bunch of simple math. If someone wanted to shoot a spacecraft with an electromagnetic beam, they just have to know its orbit (again, easy to figure out), and then point at somewhere on that orbit where it will be in the future - and when the time comes, fire. Guaranteed hit.

Again, that's IF AND ONLY IF you have an energy weapon, which the LMT is not.


schuylercat said: "A radio pulse like that would move at roughly the speed of light..."

Not "roughly", *exactly*.


schuylercat said: "And still, why worry about accuracy? The dish would throw out a pretty wide blast – a shotgun without a choke, rather than a rifle bullet. Am I crazy here?

A bit. The "blast" would not scatter at all. For the beam to be effective at a long distance, it would be collimated (all the waves traveling parallel) to deliver as much energy as possible onto a small target. *IF* the focal point of a parabolic dish was used for this purpose, then that is how it would result - a beam of parallel waves. But as it has been pointed out - that wouldn't be compatible with the other limitations and goals of the device.


schuylercat said: "And last - I need to look, but I vaguely recall a story about an industrial video tape degausser which was used to murder someone (not by hitting them over the head with it, either). That's magnetism, rather than RF, but hey - it's all scrambled brains in the end, right?"

You need to tune into Misfit7707's favorite show. That has Urban Legend dripping all over it. Those degaussers don't have anywhere close to the field strength of medical MRI equipment. Yet there's been millions of uses of those each year with no complications.

As for hitting them over the head with it, good luck. We just had a degausser for hard drives go up for auction here at Goddard last month. Even though it only measured about 3'x3'x2', you need a forklift to pick it up. Electromagnets are pretty damn heavy. :)


Drakvil
Posted 06 July 2006 at 01:40 pm

I'm sorry to see this... DI going from reporting on interesting facts to rampant speculation with a paranoid political bent.

Possible military use... I'm sure you consider your GPS a weapon. It does no damage itself, but it does allow conventional weapons to operate better: American military units are more effective when they know where they and all the friendly units in their operational range are, and any unit in that area can report the position of enemy units to friendly units in the operational area.

It just might be possible that their stated goal of researching the Ionosphere is their real purpose. I don't think that a cutting edge weapon testbed would be shared with a country like Mexico. If they are able to learn more about our atmosphere and find ways of improving RF communication, that would have great military benefit as well as many commercial benefits that follow as well. That is something much more likely to be shared with a country like Mexico.

Space is considered a pretty rough place, and I'm sure that most satellites still in use are designed to disconnect in the event of too much RF power coming in (the hubble closes to protect it's CCDs if it detects it is pointing too close to the sun or a full moon). you can replace an exploded cell phone site at a much smaller expense than a satellite, and cell sites have exploded following natural and man-made disasters. Most are now designed to shut down if the RF influx becomes too great. I would wager that satellite designers thought of it long before the telcos.

Also, the theory that Tesla used in his claim he could "split the Earth" was far from the lines of directed energy... he was theorising on resonance. Whilst his method possibly could cause some catastrophic damage to the Earth, it would not be possible to predict just where, and that damage would change the resonant frequency of the Earth enough to eradicate a chance of splitting or destroying it.


Tingler
Posted 06 July 2006 at 03:53 pm

kjsnvf says:
"Just an interesting side note: the HAAPR facalitie in Alasha is the only thing blacked out on google earth."

Actually there are a few more censored places. Click the link & see for yourself.

http://www.googleearthcoolplaces.com/censored.php


me09
Posted 06 July 2006 at 05:25 pm

mrmonett said: "The conspiracy theories about the LMT are silly. The LMT is a sensitive radio receiver, similar to your fm radio. It listens to signals generated thousands of light years away. It is not a radar system. It has no transmitter to fry satellites. If you are worried about high power transmitters, check out the observatory at Aricebo. It has been used for many years for radar studies in our solar system, and nobody has suggested there are ulterior motives in its operation."

If anyone searched on this...you mean Arecibo. And by the way that's in Puerto Rico. Its pretty big, I've lived next to it.


njoy_life_2
Posted 06 July 2006 at 06:00 pm

This is my first comment, tho' I've been reading quite a while and these are some of the thoughts that occured to me as I read the (sadly too short) article. --- .

I'd like, first, to point out that anyone who doubts that government (any government) is not capable of conspirancies is hiding his head in the sand. --- .

Next, as to the public nature of said project, one might suggest that the best place to hide something is in plain view, and the best way to lie is with half truths. --- .

I, to be frank, have no idea if LMT can be use as a weapon, but, IMHO, the sites and information available to the public about it, would be among the last arguements I'd use to prove or disprove its viability as such. --- .

Last, I'd like to applaude DI for providing for a large scope of views and interests. Not everyone will agree with every view, but gods, how 'bout we "defend to the death everyone's right to express them", rather than promote censorship? --- .

ty, Eve


njoy_life_2
Posted 06 July 2006 at 06:05 pm

(Laughs @ my double negative.)


Asshe
Posted 06 July 2006 at 07:51 pm

Has anyone read Tom Clany's book "Breaking Point" based on the HAARP research station?

In the book (btw I know it's fiction) a scientist was making people go crazy and violent by bouncing low wave frequency pulses off the ionosphere.

Just thought I'd mention it.


OmniNegro
Posted 07 July 2006 at 12:39 am

Misfit7707 said: "Why would the military of any country be concerned about something that can act as an EMP? Apart from an actual mass catastrophy like what would happen from an omnidirectional EMP, anything aimed via dishes or telescopes would probably be aimed either at satellites or the less likely missiles. Now, I know what a faraday cage looks like (unless the Mythbusters had it wrong (Mythbusters ROCKS, by the way)) and really, it just looks like a gold-colored screen door box. That same screen is probably light enough, and flexible enough to obviously, as mentioned in the article, be wrapped around people's heads to protect their brains, or if you're a military man…. maybe satellites?

Kinda makes you wonder if military satellites will have a protective layer of faraday cage around them from now on? Unless somebody already thought of it… or…

Also, is there no EMP powerful enough to penetrate a faraday cage? Like I said, the cage I saw in Mythbusters looked literally like a screen door, only gold-colored.

Hey one interesting [electro]magnetism rumor. I've heard that something like one teaspoon worth of dark matter (like that taken from a black hole) placed a certain distance from Earth would wipe out all electronics on the planet. If you were to place that same teaspoon of dark matter anyhwere between one and ten miles from yourself, the magnetism would be so powerful as to literally rip out every molecule of iron from your body. Still need to check the facts on that, but it doesnt seem all that unplausable, and is really interesting to think about.

Okay, so maybe I'm rambling."

Several things to address here.

The cage only works by providing a conductive path for the current/field to utilise, and can never be made to make anything totally immune.

If it's not grounded then it really doesn't work.
(It may still provide SOME benefit, but not near immunity as some seem to think)

If you want to build a cheap cage to protect something, alluminum foil works fairly well, so long as you ground it.

Use several layers, and ground it every few feet via another wire to another ground plug like a nail stuck deep in the ground.

You must keep in mind that the current that this will dissipate is going to follow the path of least resistance, and as such if there is only one ground then most of the area of the material will rely upon one little bit to opperate, thus it will burn out and fail.

Use redudant grounds and as many layers as you can afford and think are useful for whatever you're trying to protect.

Whatever program you were watching seems to have neglected to mention the materials they used, and I suspect that this "Golden" matterial is copper, as copper is the second (Or is it third?) to best material for such purposes.
(Silver is best, followed by copper, followed by alluminum. Some say gold is better but I'll never aggree with that.)

About your dark-matter thing....

I've never heard anything like that, but that doesn't make it wrong.

I'll look it up on wikipedia sometime within the next million years or so.

Could it be that you have several parts of that wrong and you're talking about neutronium?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutronium

My own opinion about neutronium follows:

Neutronium is a theoretical molecule that has so many electrons that there is no room for more.

Thus a teaspoon of neutronium would weigh about as much as our moon.

It's gravity would crush the very earth into more neutronium, and would generally be bad for us. :)

There, I said it. Now I must find something else to rant about.

Damned interesting stuff.


Mick Malkemus
Posted 07 July 2006 at 04:31 am

Why would the US government waste money to develop a 'weapon' like this when they can take out any sat simply by aiming a high powered laser at it? Just so they can do it secretly? Hardly. If a sat became disabled near the ground site, there would be no secret of how it was destroyed. Think people.


schuylercat
Posted 07 July 2006 at 09:13 am

This one got everyone talking, didn’t it?

ChickenHead: Good points, all, with specific emphasis on the parallel orientation of the beam in order to have sufficient collective energy to be effective. I envisioned a dish shape that would disperse it’s energy in a fan shape – a big-ass electronic blunderbuss. My science is obviously limited there. And my thought process was arranged around the idea of snap-shooting an incoming ICBM – a task this “weapon” wouldn’t be suited for anyway.

And the degausser: I swore I heard something. I KNOW I heard something. I was gone bet MONEY that I heard something, and so I asked around about it and finally nailed the source. The alleged killing of an individual with a degausser, it was – get this – depicted an episode of Miami Vice, related to me during a drunken conversation in a bar. The unit in question was a hand-held studio unit - I’ve used them before: about 30 pounds, just big enough to wrap around 10” audio tape reels. Not a bad blunt object, really, but nowhere near as good as an axe handle.

Now THAT’S science, huh?

I'm off to have a neutronium on rye for lunch. Ta taa.


kjfitz
Posted 07 July 2006 at 09:46 am

Here is the HAARP site in Google Maps. It is on the edge of a high res area, not really censored.

As for censorship, there are many censored sites. Most goverment sites in The Haige for instance. See here and here for instance.

The White House has been in and out of censored coverage in Google Maps / Google Earth depending on the image database update. It probably is not Google censoring these. The images in GM are a composite from many sources. The originators were probably the censors. You can see this in the many different way the cencorship is done. If Google were doing it all one would expect to see the censorship done in a consistent manner.


Dark Lord Ph8
Posted 07 July 2006 at 09:47 am

DAMN INTERSTING! Secret weapons, conspiricies, and even anti-matter! But what I am really curious about is if this "LMT" can be used to reheat pie without making the crust soggy!

The Dark Lord Himself,


Shandooga
Posted 07 July 2006 at 03:05 pm

Well, I'm glad that the author 'feels better' but I don't. This nation is run by seasoned, practiced liars. There is NO WAY that anything that *could* serve as a weapon is not being used as a weapon by this government. :-P


Misfit7707
Posted 07 July 2006 at 10:43 pm

Thanks OmniNegro for clearing a lot of that up. Haha I can't believe though, that I didn't even realize that the whole purpose of a Faraday Cage is to block incoming and outgoing signals. Even if a Faraday cage were to work on a satellite up in space, it would render the satellite worthless to anything that wants to use it for transmitting signals!

Just commenting on my own stupidity in case anyone thought "huh, he's got a good point!"


mudpuppy555
Posted 08 July 2006 at 11:58 am

What does this have to do with angry sea-bass carrying lasers?


Byrden
Posted 08 July 2006 at 03:38 pm

>> "Most are geosynchronous, which mean they move over face of the earth in a pattern that repeats once per day. "

Actually, it means they don't move at all over the face of the earth. They stay permanently above the same spot as it rotates.

>> "They have a much higher angular rate than any deep space object"

Relative to what? The angular rate of deep space objects is zero relative to a non-rotating Earth. The angular rate of these satellites is zero relative to the actual rotating Earth.
And if you swap around, the angular rates are still identical.


Byrden
Posted 08 July 2006 at 03:47 pm

>> "a parabolic dish (like the LMT) is designed to gather spread out energy waves and focus them down into a small beam. "

Well, no, it focusses them down to the detector, but they come in over a very wide angle (from all the parts of the dish). A small beam is not formed.

>> "Running that in reverse as is implied with it being some type of "ray gun" would weaken the strength of the resulting beam by spreading it out"

The dish does not weaken the beam because there IS no beam until the dish forms one.


Byrden
Posted 08 July 2006 at 03:50 pm

>> "he very matter of factly told me to never ask such questions again and that was the last thing he said to me for the entire flight."

Hm, he's not much good at this is he? I would have smiled and said "We looked into it, but when you do the math there are several technical reasons it doesn't work. I can't say more."
And I would have carried right on talking.


Larry K.
Posted 10 July 2006 at 01:43 pm

Radio Defense! With computer and radio technology what it is today why can't we have a device that emits every frequency of radio waves all the time (save for a few used by our troops) in Iraq. Then the bastards making the remote activated IEDs would be blown to bits as soon as the device was "activated". The Iraqis would not be able to use cell phones, garage door openers or radios but saving the lives of our soldiers would be worth it.


AKALucifer
Posted 11 July 2006 at 10:35 am

In the case of “The Matrix”, I’m not sure how the heroes survived … let alone their ship."

But the 'real world' in the matrix is just another matrix so technically it could just be a bug.


ChickenHead
Posted 12 July 2006 at 01:51 pm

Byrden said: ">> "Most are geosynchronous, which mean they move over face of the earth in a pattern that repeats once per day. "

Actually, it means they don't move at all over the face of the earth. They stay permanently above the same spot as it rotates.

A Geostationary satellite is what you have described - it has a zero inclination angle to the Earth's equitorial plane. In that case, yes, it appears to be unmoving (or moving nearly imperceptibly). A Geosynchronous satellite (what enderw88 mentioned) will have a non-zero inclination angle. As a result, it remains fixed over a given longitude line; however it will appear (from the ground) to "bob" North and South along that line several degrees. The range of deviation from appearing stationary depends on the inclination angle the the eccentricity of the orbit. In all but an extreme case of large inclinations, it's rate of "bob" will be very slow (a few degrees per hour).

Byrden said: "
>> "They have a much higher angular rate than any deep space object"

Relative to what? The angular rate of deep space objects is zero relative to a non-rotating Earth. The angular rate of these satellites is zero relative to the actual rotating Earth.

And if you swap around, the angular rates are still identical."

The relation was implied in the discussion to a ground station (antenna/telescope) such as what this article was about. For such a situation, the angular rate of deep space objects varies between 0-15 degrees/hour depending on their declination (specifically: cosine (declination angle) * 360 degrees / 24 hours) from the Earth's equitorial plane.


Fishindog
Posted 16 July 2006 at 11:04 pm

Great Article.

Fishin Dog


A say, no need S
Posted 20 July 2006 at 02:16 am

let north korea launch missile to hit in MOSCOW, IRAN / IRAQ, CHINA,,,

let china launch missile to hit in MOSCOW, IRAN / IRAQ, NORTH KOREA,,,
let iran / iraq launch missile to hit in MOSCOW, NORTH KOREA, CHINA,,,
let moscow launch missile to hit russia' s own land of ussr russia MOSCOW, NORTH KOREA, CHINA, IRAN / IRAQ,,,

LET AMERICA KEEP WATCH OUT THE WORLD ENEMY MISSILES,,,
LET AMERICA MAKE MORE SDIs ( STAR WARS LASER WEAPON OUTER SPACE ),,,
LET AMERICA MAKE MORE POWER MX MISSILES TO HIT IN MOSCOW, IRAN / IRAQ, CHINA, NORTH KOREA,,,

people around the world,,,
please read this message,,,
DO NOT GO TO CHINA OLYMPICS IN 2008,,,
yes time is boycott,,,
BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT,,,
let forget it about china olympics,,,
china olympics are NOT worth it,,,

AMERICANS PEOPLE AND PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD,
DO NOT GO VISIT IN USSR RUSSIA,,,
USSR RUSSIA DID HELP ALOT TO CHINA, CUBA, INDIA, IRAN / IRAQ, NORTH KOREA
ABOUT ANTI- AMERICA,,,YES RUSSIA DID THAT,,,
RUSSIA ALWAYS COPY, STEAL, COPY, STEAL FROM AMERICA IDEA,,,
RUSSIA IS A EVIL EMPIRE COUNTRY AND LEADER OF TROUBLEMAKER
IN THE WORLD,,,RUSSIA IS A NO - LIFE,,,

AMERICAN BILL GATES AS MICROSOFT COMPUTER COMPANY,
DO NOT SEND SELL MICROSOFT WINDOWS COMPUTERS TO CHINA, CUBA, USSR RUSSIA,
INDIA, IRAN / IRAQ, NORTH KOREA,,,


Griffin
Posted 07 September 2006 at 09:35 am

Well it appears most people missed the point of the article. Everyone got wrapped up in looking at HAARP as a secret weapon. It surely can be used as a weapon but whats the point? Its like saying we have invented a new gun. Its a .39 caliber to replace the .38 caliber! WooohOO. Your missing the boat.
And boat is a good analogy. The HAARP facilities are similar to boats. There are many types of boats that ply the ocean. Shrimp boats, speed boats, sail boats and Destroyers. There are military boats and there are public boats.... But what is the one thing all boats have in common????


Tink
Posted 31 October 2006 at 02:31 am

Griffin said: "Well it appears most people missed the point of the article. Everyone got wrapped up in looking at HAARP as a secret weapon. It surely can be used as a weapon but whats the point? Its like saying we have invented a new gun. Its a .39 caliber to replace the .38 caliber! WooohOO. Your missing the boat.

And boat is a good analogy. The HAARP facilities are similar to boats. There are many types of boats that ply the ocean. Shrimp boats, speed boats, sail boats and Destroyers. There are military boats and there are public boats…. But what is the one thing all boats have in common????"

My guess would be that they all float, for a while any way. ;)


eatmydust57
Posted 02 December 2006 at 07:18 am

go to hell


jddes
Posted 14 December 2006 at 12:05 am

I don't want to sound like a smart ass, but I think some misinformed comments about eletromagnetism were made that I will try to set straight. I might be wrong on some issues and I'm willing to discuss it. Surely some readers must be more qualified than me on the matter and I'm suprised someone didn't comment on this before. So here it is:

Electromagnetic waves have a really hard time penetrating conductors. Most of the energy is simply reflected. The better the conductor, the less energy is transmitted (rather than reflected). The transmission coefficient is also a function of frequency. There is no need to ground the conductor as was mentionned. I'm pretty sure every single satelite in orbit has a layer of conducting material, to protect it from radiation coming from space. Especially radiation from the Sun. Then, an EMP or any electromagnetic wave for that matter would not penetrate a satellite in any significant way, except from it's antenna(s). Then it could potentially fry the circuits inside, if the power is strong enough. I really doubt that you could collimate enough energy to fry anything in such low frequencies as microwaves at such long distances, although a laser might achieve it. Even then, you would need some mean of entering the satelite "shell" to cause any damage. Perhaps spy satelites with optic system could be rendered useless that way...


ZAP
Posted 10 September 2008 at 05:39 pm

scottmcl said: "Wasn't there some sort of EMP device used in the current Iraq war? I swear I heard something about that."

to answer your question over two years later:
Yes, but not an EMP weapon, it was(is) a bomb which is directed against power plants and facilities which explodes into cloud of conductive graphite particles, effectively shorting out the facility. It was actually first used in Bosnia against facilities there, but was used again in the "shock and awe" portion of the Iraq invasion. BTW, my first post after lurking all these years. :)


END OF COMMENTS
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