By Paul F. Renda
Over the past couple of years, I gave talks at several hacker conferences about injecting EMP into digital devices. I showed that these pulses will either turn a device off, force it to reboot, or make it fail. I created these pulses using a Marx generator. Unfortunately, the Marx generator cannot be scaled up with a limited amount of money and resources. After looking at many different gadgets, I came to the conclusion only a Tesla coil would work. With a reasonable amount of power and a Tesla coil that could be made as large as I wanted…
From the article “Electromagnetic Terrorism: New Hazards”
“But the threat of intentional EMI is not limited to radio frequency (RF) energy. Yuri Parfenov and Vladimir Fortov of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for High Energy Densities recently experimented with injection of disturbances into power lines outside a building and found that the signals penetrate very easily and at a high enough voltage to cause damage to computers inside the building. Additionally, radiated fields often become a conducted threat due to coupling of RF energy to exposed wires. Dr. A. Prishchipenko, member-correspondent of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, today heads research.”
The Russian Federation believes that this can be an economic weapon. That is, if one injects EMP into the power line system, it will bring down all solid-state controlled
devices (which today is everything).
I plan on giving a talk on this topic during the summer of 2014 at Hacker Conferences. The above article mentions a suitcase device. I believe this device can be produced by a modified Tesla coil. The cost of this device on the high side is about $1,500. Such a gadget would cause havoc at NYC’s Penn Station if coupled directly to the station’s electric supply. I may build a prototype of this gadget and bring it down to the Defcon conference in Las Vegas. I don’t believe I will have any trouble with the TSA. They are looking for bombs.
Introducing the Tesla coil; it can easily be scaled up. I do demos of three different Tesla coils operating at frequencies 150 kHz, 323 kHz, and 782 kHz (sstc). I do only low-power demonstrations. The reason I do only low-power demonstrations is basically because I’m trying to create a proof of concept. In my tests with the Marx generator, over time a number of my computers and other digital devices in my home failed. I did not directly pulse the devices, but the summation of pulses shortened their lives. The second reason is that I am in the flight paths of the John F. Kennedy International Airport. High-power pulses may couple with devices on airplanes, as today most airplanes are flown by wire. Systems go down in unpredicted ways. I’m also doing a demonstration of pulses carried across a transformer. That question came up when I was at early Hacker Conferences: “Would EMP travel through a transformer?” The answer was “yes,” and a transformer later failed (I have a video of this).
Unknown to a lot of people is that when Tesla moved to Colorado Springs, he constructed a large Tesla coil. One night while operating the coil, the power station went down. The power station was miles away from his coil. Tesla’s explanation was that the radiated waves were conducted into the windings of the generator. From his explanation, it is not clear if it was the radiated waves that were conducted backwards that created the impedance mismatch that reflected power back to the station.
Could this happen to a modern power station? Probably not, because they have only a certain number of generators up at any one time. However, the power station has one central point of failure: the high-voltage step-up transformer, which are not made anymore. If you order one, it may take a couple of months to build it. The transformers step up in 20,000 volts to about 500,000 volts for long-distance transmission. I already video demonstrated that transformers can conduct EMP, and my transformer that I used for the demo shorted out a couple of days later.
(Note: if you want to meet the author of this article he performs with others at the Bodega monthly poetry and short story reading, on the first Sunday of every month. 24 ST Nicholas Ave., Brooklyn New York)