LONDON QinetiQ is working with the Typhoon Integrated Project Team and overseeing the work to ensure the aircraft will survive an ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP). It is also providing design advice for hardening and protection and an assessment service in support of several other military projects.
High electric field strengths can upset and damage electronic systems and an EMP normally the result of a nuclear detonation within the atmosphere, poses a particular threat to military hardware like the EuroFighter Typhoon.
At present there are no requirements to protect the UK civilian infrastructure against the effects of EMP but a recent commission set up to report to US congress on the effects of EMP on civilian infrastructure found that “…EMP is capable of causing catastrophe for the Nation…The damage level could be sufficient to be catastrophic to the Nation, and our current vulnerability invites attack.”
QinetiQ has also recently become responsible for the secretariat for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) SC77c committee that is developing standards that advise on EMP and the impact on civilian infrastructure. This committee has already published 15 documents ranging from the description of EMP to test methods and protection techniques.
QinetiQ operates the only EMP simulator in the UK at its Farnborough site in Hampshire as part of an extensive ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC) facility. Included within this suite are screened rooms, reverberation chambers, GTEM cells and anechoic chambers.