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A Study of the Parallel-Plate EMP Simulator and the Simulator-Obstacle Interaction

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Final technical rept.,

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The Parallel-Plate Bounded-Wave EMP Simulator is typically used to test the vulnerability of electronic systems to the electromagnetic pulse EMP produced by a high altitude nuclear burst by subjecting the systems to a simulated EMP environment. However, when large test objects are placed within the simulator for investigation, the desired EMP environment may be affected by the interaction between the simulator and the test object. This simulator obstacle interaction can be attributed to the following phenomena 1 mutual coupling between the test object and the simulator, 2 fringing effects due to the finite width of the conducting plates of the simulator, and 3 multiple reflections between the object and the simulators tapered end-sections. When the interaction is significant, the measurement of currents coupled into the system may not accurately represent those induced by an actual EMP. To better understand the problem of simulatorobstacle interaction, a dynamic analysis of the fields within the parallel-plate simulator is presented. The fields are computed using a moment method solution based on a wire mesh approximation of the conducting surfaces of the simulator. The fields within an empty simulator are found to be predominately transverse electromagnetic TEM for frequencies within the simulators bandwidth, properly simulating the properties of the EMP propagating in free space. However, when a large test object is placed within the simulator, it is found that the currents induced on the object can be quite different from those on an object situated in free space. A comprehensive study of the mechanisms contributing to this deviation is presented.

Subject Categories:

  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Electromagnetic Pulses

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