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Effects of EMP


SOC-14 5K
Effects of Electro Magnetic Pulses on equipment in the Far Future, what would they be? Yes, fibre optic connections would be immune but what of other devices. Would (re)calibration be a simple matter? Possible shielding other than fibre optic?
Well, unless you are using mechanical or pure optical boosters and exchanges, fibre will be just as disrupted as electronic networks.

Realy big EMP attacks can kill people by scrambling brains and arc burns. That which survives the initial burst can probably be reused.
Depends on the intensity. Generally things that are sheilded against EMP will have circuits grounded in boxes and things liek that The equipment will weigh a good deal more and be a bit larger than the non emp sheileded equivalant. If there are failsafes in the circuits then they can be an easy repair. Used to do some telecommunications stuff and the telco lines were often hit by lightning strikes I for the most part had to replace a fusable part and then set it back out to service.
Useful advice: civilian grav belts and cheap, black market battledress aren't EMP shielded, as one of my players found out the hard way...




"Ouch! Err...anyone got a tin opener?"

The main problem with EMP in the modern world is induction of too much current for sensitive microchips and the like. Basically the pulse causes current to jump arround frying circuits.

One way arround this is to wrap everything that might be damaged in a faraday cage.

Another way arround this is to build bigger computers that can carry much more current internally to aid resilience.

Sacraficial design (ie. fuses) only goes so far, but is yet another solution. Sometimes you cannot let components fail even temporarily.

Or if you're expecting to get hit with nukes regularily all of the above.
Don't forget that Low Tech electronics (TL5-6) are probably immune to EMP. Vacuum tubes don't get fried like modern electronics do.

Harry Turtledove wrote about this lack of effect in his "In the Balance" book of aliens invading Earth during WW2. The EMP knocked things off line, but no damage, they just started them back up and kept going. Planes and other things that are run by computers today were not effected because nothing was computerized.

In Traveller, I would say that most/all military hardware would be shielded from EMP. After all, at TL 6, an EMP is a pretty low tech weapon that in Traveller has been around for a LONG time.

Civilian items could easily be shielded for a few extra credits.
There's the famous story of the Soviet pilot who defected to the West, bringing his MiG with him. The NATO techs ROFL when they saw the primitive electronics. Then they thought a bit more and suddenly it wasn't so funny...