HPMW (High Power MicroWave) devices compared to EMP, have lower power and narrow band electromagnetic radiation. This radiation is formed by coupling fast and high-amplitude pulse power source to the specially implemented antenna array.
To form a HPMW, different kinds of generators as Vircat (Virtual Cathode Oscillator), Magnetron, MHD Generator (Magneto Hydro-Dynamic Generator), Klystron and similar sources can be used.
HPMW’s has many industrial uses. Nowadays commonly contained in our kitchen – microwave ovens – works with the principle of applying microwave fields to molecules, causing them to move and thus generating heat. Likewise, for separating minerals and ores from rocks in mining industry high-power magnetrons are used. Microwave generators are also sources of radar. However, the term HPMW is synonymous with “RF weapons” used and mainly reminds the battle systems.
Microwave frequencies can be of 100 MHz up to 10 GHz’s and above. The main reasons for selecting this frequency range is the atmosphere to be more permeable to these values but also the sensitive components of electronic devices to be more vulnerable at GHz signals. The effects of RF weapons range from a few meters up to several hundred meters. Laboratory experiments have shown that the modern commercial electronic devices levels are affected when they are exposed to microwave from μW/cm2 up to mW/cm2.
HPMW weapons are devices of pulsed radio frequency (RF ). As far as it is possible to be at the size of a briefcase but depending on the power on the size of a bus as well. RF weapons compared with EMP, has a drawback as the need to be close to the target . However, it has a major benefit, it can be used as a secret weapon , after an RF shot the target can not realize what the cause and source of corruption was . It may be advantageous for an attack held to different targets in succession, as this may lead to confusion . Finally, the RF weapons can be mobile and have an advantege to escape . An RF gun mounted behind a truck because of its size can be seriously effective, can easily change place and has the opportunity to escape . The targets exposed to RF guns may suffer for damage, a blown fuse, burning or melting of the circuit elements, thus restarting system or shutting down, maybe completely berakdown. The studies in U.S. and Russia on this issue are carried out for several decades.
Many parts of electronic devices can be protected by shielding (screening) against HPMW but the communication modules such as sensor, antennas, etc. are impossible to be shielded not to break the communication so are the most vulnerable sections of target devices.
Good implementation of shielding is required to protect from HPMW. Although mostly known that the principle acquires electric current, it should be preferred to make transimission by optical systems if electromagnetic exposure is probable.
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