In support of The Commissions to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, this paper examines the potential damage to satellites from high altitude nuclear detonations not specifically targeting space assets. We provide and overview of representative classes of satellites, their orbits, and their economic and military importance to the U.S. lessons learned from atmospheric nuclear test of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s are presented. In particular, the STARFISH PRIME test of 1962 injected long-lived trapped energetic electrons into Earth’s magnetic fields, causing the early demise of several satellites.

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Collateral Damage to Satellites from an EMP Attack, August 2010 [165 Pages, 33.1MB]





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