It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

A Solar Storm Almost Led The US To War With The Soviet Union

page: 1
9
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 9 2016 @ 10:53 PM
link   
Interesting article I came across this morning, where a storm on the sun almost brought the then world's superpowers to the brink of war.

www.popsci.com.au...




A solar storm that jammed radar and radio communications at the height of the Cold War could have led to a disastrous military conflict if not for the U.S. Air Force's budding efforts to monitor the sun's activity, a new study finds.

On May 23, 1967, the Air Force prepared aircraft for war, thinking the nation's surveillance radars in polar regions were being jammed by the Soviet Union. Just in time, military space weather forecasters conveyed information about the solar storm's potential to disrupt radar and radio communications. The planes remained on the ground and the U.S. avoided a potential nuclear weapon exchange with the Soviet Union, according to the new research.


At the time it seemed the disruption of to the radar systems was a coordinated attack by the Soviets, and that they were jamming the radar equipment of the United States.


As the solar flare event unfolded on May 23, radars at all three Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) sites in the far Northern Hemisphere were disrupted. These radars, designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles, appeared to be jammed. Any attack on these stations -- including jamming their radar capabilities -- was considered an act of war.


It is fortunate that there was an awareness of the possibility solar activity may in fact cause disruption.


Retired Colonel Arnold L. Snyder, a solar forecaster at NORAD's Solar Forecast Center, was on duty that day. The tropospheric weather forecaster told him the NORAD Command Post had asked about any solar activity that might be occurring.

"I specifically recall responding with excitement, 'Yes, half the sun has blown away,' and then related the event details in a calmer, more quantitative way," Snyder said.

Along with the information from the Solar Forecast Center, NORAD learned the three BMEWS sites were in sunlight and could receive radio emissions coming from the sun. These facts suggested the radars were being 'jammed' by the sun, not the Soviet Union, Snyder said. As solar radio emissions waned, the 'jamming' also waned, further suggesting the sun was to blame, he said.


A very interesting tidbit from history, where it was not anything to do with the Soviet Union's military, spying, or troop movements, but rather a large storm on the sun.
edit on 9-8-2016 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:04 AM
link   
is it just me or is the image of the sun getting larger as I read the text beneath it?



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 11:22 AM
link   
mmm this is interesting.

Hope this is not too off topic, but how does solar activity affect radar systems?



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 12:52 PM
link   
Nice find

Just shows the insanity of the cold war days.



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 12:59 PM
link   

originally posted by: verschickter
Nice find

Just shows the insanity of the cold war days.


There was worse on both sides. Some of which seem to have been used by movie script writers, at least indirectly. We came REAL close several times. There's a bit more scrutiny before response at the moment. Maybe too much. But that's probably a good thing.



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:00 PM
link   
a reply to: verschickter

It also goes to show how much we are at the mercy of things well beyond our ability to control.

If we were ever to experience a repeat of the Carrington Event, we would be in a world of hurt depending on the size of the event.

We nearly got hit with one in 2012 and if we had been who knows what would occur.

A large enough solar storm could potentially knock out the power grid for more than a year. If this were to occur right now, we would be in a very bad shape regardless of what any other nation's military might do.

Think about what would happen to all of the nation's nuclear power plants if they were to simultaneously experience a LOOP event:


Loss Of Offsite Power

It is recognized that the availability of ac power to commercial nuclear power plants is essential for safe operations and accident recovery. A loss of offsite power (LOOP) event, therefore, is considered an important contributor to total risk at nuclear power plants. In 1988, the NRC published NUREG-1032 to report on an evaluation of the risk from actual LOOP events that had occurred at nuclear power plants within the United States up through 1985. NUREG/CR-5496 documents a similar study whose primary objective was to update the LOOP model parameters, frequency, and recovery time, using plant event data from 1980 - 1996. An additional objective was to re-examine the engineering insights concerning LOOP events.


Think Fukushima x however many nuclear power plants would be affected.

Generators run as long as they have fuel, batteries only last as long as they have charge. What happens to both if the national grid (or a significant portion thereof) goes down?



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:03 PM
link   
a reply to: jadedANDcynical

They should plow some money back into the grid infrastructure, it's far too fragile. All these things can be defended against, but they weren't addressed as the US power grid developed. Now, it's a mass of rickety half-assed crap.

We had a guy give us a pretty scary lecture once on power grids, he'd been saying for years that three or four teams could wipe out the national economy with .50 cal rifles, and he's right. The long line distribution should be a rationally designed structure, safe from basic damage, and with spare parts.



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:13 PM
link   
Too bad we didn't let Patton unleash hell in 45 and give him back his beloved Third Army to curb stomp those beet munching alcoholics...

The 20th century would have been a helluva lot better without that rotting carcass polluting the high west with its communism...

We landed on the moon and split the atom....the Russians copied a few German patents on guns and made a beeping ball that orbited earth...

-Christosterone



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:17 PM
link   
a reply to: Bedlam
Electronic students in Germany even learn how vulnerable the american power grid is, the way it is set up. No joke.
The reason why is, when they analyze different types of distribution networks, the one europe uses is more web-like with many nodes and triangles, where the US one is the more stringed, serial type.

a reply to: jadedANDcynical
I´m saying this for years that if there would be a carrington event, we´d be in big trouble. There were some promises and efforts made in europe. But our biggest problem, is what I wrote Bedlam up there.

Since the european net is much more interconnected, there are more lines and capacity is even higher.
We have achieved insane cut-off and reconnect times with new types of heavy load switches but with a carrington event, the isolators are in trouble.

The next positive thing is, overvoltage protection elements are built into the current systems, at the customer. Your house should be protected if the electrician new what he did.

Don´t forget the telephone line, that´s nearly impossible to shield against. Funny, last time it was also the communication network.

edit on 10-8-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:25 PM
link   

originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: verschickter
Nice find

Just shows the insanity of the cold war days.


There was worse on both sides. Some of which seem to have been used by movie script writers, at least indirectly. We came REAL close several times. There's a bit more scrutiny before response at the moment. Maybe too much. But that's probably a good thing.


There was also Russian submarine commander, Vasili Arkhipov, who disobeyed orders to launch a nuke against the U.S. Navy during the Cuban missile crisis.
edit on 10-8-2016 by Junkheap because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:31 PM
link   
a reply to: Junkheap
Were there rumors that he defected or am I starting those now asking for it?



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:45 PM
link   

originally posted by: verschickter
a reply to: Bedlam
Electronic students in Germany even learn how vulnerable the american power grid is, the way it is set up.


On top of which, we depend on UHV transformers we neither make nor stock. There aren't but one or two spares. Because $$$.



We have achieved insane cut-off and reconnect times with new types of heavy load switches but with a carrington event, the isolators are in trouble.


It's all a side effect of geomagnetic heave. Long lines are the most affected, once isolated and grounded at both ends you can get the occasional overcurrent that may damage the line but not as much as they will damage the transformers if left connected. The problem comes in where the transformers are not sized to deal with DC offsets, and the geomagnetic heave component looks like a pseudo-DC current to the transformer, saturating the core and walking it off the BH curve, at which point it becomes a short circuit instead of a transformer. Bzzt.



Don´t forget the telephone line, that´s nearly impossible to shield against. Funny, last time it was also the communication network.


The phone system doesn't use a lot of long copper anymore. Fiber's not susceptible. And for the most part, since there's no power transformers to saturate it's down to overvoltage at both ends, which can be handled by voltage clamps, which are there. But enough of a heave, it's going to take out the wire between your home and the POP.



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 01:59 PM
link   
a reply to: Bedlam

That´s what I ment. We had a lighting strike several years ago. It went into a tree and next to it was the "last mile" copper from the telephone company. It went through the DSL splitter (whose condensators vaporized in a white flash)
into the router, from there into my computer through the cat cables and because I was genius having a TV card, also into the SAT-system.

Then it also destroyed the door speaker system and every other electronic device, except for the heater and some old style wire lightbulbs.

In the current location, I´ve fibre right from the DSLAM into my home, although I live very rural, a local company invested in the early 2000s laying glasfibre with gas lines in paralell, making it viable.

The best way would be to disconnect the main fuses (If you are schooled in it) and clamp earth connectors.
My house is protected in three stages, but since there is PV on my roof and I´m not sure if the DC/AC converter has internal overvoltage protection, I´d be in trouble anyways.

For big solar power plants, there has to be a detection device for those DC overlays it has to disconnect the whole plan from the grid, by law.



posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 02:34 PM
link   
a reply to: verschickter

I've had several near hits out here, took out the damndest things, not always right then, either.

A geomagnetic heave, even Carrington level, isn't going to do the damage lightning does if it gets into your wiring. It's more about very long conductors and current, whereas lightning is going to be a voltage transient phenomenon.



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 03:44 AM
link   
a reply to: Bedlam

I know, I know. The point I was trying to make was that even though I pulled the mains, I forgot the telephone line and the worst happened. It corelates with the comment about fast cutoff times. Although there should be plenty of warning time ahead, there will be loses, can´t stop the electrons.

(a little bit offtopic since lightning

About voltage transient penomenon. The voltage itself is not the problem, as long as theres no current flowing between the potentials. Another friend had a lightning strike. I saw the pictures, the sockets and switches blew out the wall, his chrome lamps shades on the wall and ceiling looked like they were boiling. The waterlines were damaged, too, another sign of magnetic forces.
We were arguing if it was the current vaporizing parts making them pop out because of gas expansion or if it had to do with some sort of electro magnetic field when the current was flowing through pipes and cables. Yes technically it´s DC but remember a strike consists of several pulses.

In my case it was not a direct hit, line was laying in approx 1.2m depth (if layed by standards). I suspect there was either current induced into the lines because it was running through the perimeter of the striking point, or it sparked through the isolation. The mystery however, is why did it went into my house, it can not possibly have a lower R(earth) than the wet tree, directly at the impact point. It was around 20-25m of telephone line to the entry point. The other thing is, they checked the isolation (after it rained) and it was in the mega ohms.


edit on 11-8-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 04:38 AM
link   
a reply to: Bedlam
Again a double post but I think it fits better in a seperate post because it´s more on-topic:

Transformers, depending on the type, are very long conductors (in the sense of lenght, not straight length). You seem to be much more fitter on that topic. Am I right when I assume that because of 3D alignment of the transformer coil, depending on the angle of the magnetic field and it´s field change, will suffer induction? Compared to the stretched out wire allowing for massive induction and current flow, where as the different angles in a coil would limit the current, and also the inductive part of it would act as a current limiter.
That would mean, massive heating up on the other hand.

Assuming both the line and transformer are galvanic disconnected with enough air gap to exclude gapping. And off grid.

Another thing to keep in mind are the PLCs in distribution knots, their communication and even more important in power plants. I´ve worked with Step7 from Siemens, for example. You know, the one that had the vulnerability in the wincc drivers exploited in the iran centrifugal enrichment center. Not the exact one, but my point is those systems and their concurent products are not shielded. The buslines have a shield connected to earth but the PLCs and addons are not.

Imagine if those are damaged and you don´t have the project files because they are lost, too.
Flipped bits, you can´t trust anything. So you tear it down and build it again. Oh no, there are no spare parts.
What then?

If we have a magnetic storm that magnitude like the carrington event, I see a bad moon on the rise.



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 04:55 AM
link   
a reply to: cuckooold

There's another famous incident (or notorious) involving Soviet missile tracking glitching out and setting off the sirens. Their systems showed a massive incoming attack from the US. It flew up the chain of command and we're talking days of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) here. It came down to one guy to press the button and set off an equal, retaliatory attack.

Thankfully he ummed and ahhed and felt sure it was a false positive. He held off and the ICBMs *poof* were gone from the screens. I heard him say in an interview that military personnel would have followed their orders and hit that switch. He was something like civilian auxiliary and hadn't been trained to jump under orders.

MAD has gone and Putin's strategy is a policy that guarantees an automatic, major strike on their attacker's largest cities. 'Deescalation doctrine'

It's a little bit chilling to think millions could have died on several occasions during the Cold war. Half of the Eastern Bloc and half of the West all killed in their beds because technology glitched.


a reply to: Bedlam

Spot on. People have been hollering and warning about the consequences of a massive solar flare strike for years. I don't know exactly what efforts have been made to safeguard infrastructure, if any. Still, there's an annual story in the science mags repeating the warnings that our technological live-styles could be set back decades in a matter of minutes and hours.

GPS, banking, mobile phone communications, power infrastructure etc. Fried in moments and potentially hundreds of dead satellites wasting orbital slots. It's a lot to come back from and the best subjective outlook would be it striking the opposite side of the planet.
edit on 8.11.2016 by Kandinsky because: added a link



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 05:16 AM
link   
a reply to: Kandinsky
Imagine all the pokemon GO! addicts going crazy in the woods. No signal, no gps, no pokemon, no clue how to get back.
I, for myself, will have heat/warm water /cooking without electricity. If the spare pv-panels survive I also have enough power for lighting. Food and unspoiled groundwater will be my biggest problems. And vultures.

Edit:


I don't know exactly what efforts have been made to safeguard infrastructure

There has been some effort. However like in my example you´d have to shield everything. You´d need very secure galvanic disconnections and in case of communication optocouple everything that´s connected to the outside. Building a faraday cage around components (or whole sites) could be a solution, but very unpractical and cost intensive measure. As long as there are above-ground lines, distribution centers and non fibre optic telecommunication lines those will always stab you in the back.
edit on 11-8-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 05:23 AM
link   
a reply to: verschickter



, for myself, will have heat/warm water /cooking without electricity. If the spare pv-panels survive I also have enough power for lighting. Food and unspoiled groundwater will be my biggest problems. And vultures.


...and falling aeroplanes?? I don't know if they've been hardened against serious solar flares. If not, your foxhole could look like a crash site with dead folk all over the show.


It's not a bad idea though. You're right to have stuff ready in case the grid goes down. I'd guess old cars and bikes would survive being melted and modern ones would die on the spot. Then again, that could kill major routes anyway if even a few vehicles block them.

(Scratches head) So many things to think of!! Pokemon players would have to go 'old skool' and bring back hide and seek lol. Good activity!! Hide in dead cars and downed planes



posted on Aug, 11 2016 @ 05:28 AM
link   
a reply to: verschickter

I think the interconnectedness would come into play there. Hospitals have back-up generators so something like a Faraday cage could make them golden. Other buildings could use Faraday cages built in to their structure and then I wonder if they'd still have problems when the rest of the area hasn't?

A lot of unforeseen consequences would be coming our way.

Yes, safe in a fox-hole with access to fuel and food etc sounds a safer option



new topics




 
9
<<   2 >>

log in

join