Can you imagine what life would be like if a large portion of the national grid was out of action for 6 months or 9 months or even longer?
As I mentioned in my previous column on this topic, I was recently introduced to an organization called Energy Huntsville (the city of Huntsville being where I currently "hang my hat," as it were).
The goal of this organization is to establish our community as the go-to technology center for solutions to energy programs and projects. Since its inauguration around three and a half years ago, Energy Huntsville has grown from being a local industry organization to having a national footprint.
[Is the technology ready for homeowners to store their own energy from solar?]
Energy Huntsville has a meeting on the third Tuesday of each month, which explains why I was to be found meandering my way around the US Space and Rocket Center earlier this week.
The first person I bumped into while grabbing a coffee (thank goodness for coffee) was Michael E. Gomien from Shearer & Associates, a company that bills itself as "Specialists in Facility & Security Engineering." After complementing me on my Hawaiian shirt du jour (which, it has to be acknowledged, was rather spiffy), Michael enlightened me as to to some very interesting work he is involved in regarding protecting equipment and facilities against electromagnetic pulses (EMPs), with particular attention to the possibility of events caused by terrorists or naughty nation states (I added the "naughty" qualifier).
Most electronic engineers know that older technologies such as vacuum tubes are much less susceptible to damage from EMPs than are modern technologies such as transistors and silicon chips. Paradoxically, the smaller, faster, and more power-efficient we make modern electronic components, the more vulnerable they tend to become to EMPs.
Continue reading on EE Times' sister site, Embedded.com.