There are two types of Electro-Magnetic Pulses, they are caused by the following :-
Solar Flare Electro-Magnetic Pulses are covered in Solar Flare E.M.P. so this is just on the second one.
Nuclear Electro-Magnetic Pulses are bursts of energy caused by a nuclear explosion. The E.M.P. can affect an area larger than what the actual explosion can destroy. An Electro-Magnetic Pulse explosion can destroy electronic equipment in any direction. The strength of the explosion will determine how large the area will be affected.
Nuclear E.M.P. had been predicted by Enrico Fermi. Enrico Fermi was woring on developing the nuclear bomb. Enrico's prediction before the explosion enabled the projects scientists prevent damage and loss of equipment. Some records were still lost but not as much as that could have been.
In the James Bond film series, there was a film called Goldeneye where the antagonist, Alec Trevelyan had access to two Goldeneye satellites. The satellites were named after the residence where Ian Flemming wrote the James Bond books in Jamaica.
The first Goldeneye was used to destroy the Goldeneye control centre in Severnaya, Russia. Alec had stolen a Tigre helicopter as that was immune to E.M.P.s. The second Goldeneye satellite was to be used to attack London. Alec planned to hack into the Bank of England, rob it of the money then cause an E.M.P. to cover up what they had done. Alec had wanted revenge on the British after what had happened to his family. Alec found out his family had been betrayed to Russia and killed. Alec and his colleagues would become super-rich whilst London suffered with its electronics having been destroyed.
Goldeneye was a work of fictions however, a nuclear E.M.P. attack has been considered in the past. The militaries have taken steps to protect themselves from a possibility. Sensitive equipment would be buried underground and encased to be protected from such an eventuality. Although the Government is protected, the average person or company wouldn't have been protected. Electronic equipment would be affected.
Getting a satellite into space would be highly unpredictable. Rockets are getting safer as we progress and learn about them but getting E.M.P. satellite into space would highly risky. If the rocket exploded on take-off, the satellite could explode and could actually go off.
Governments spy on one another all the time, had one of the super-powers managed to get an E.M.P. satellite into space, how long do you think it would be before the other side found out. Can you imagine the political fall-out especially if the satellite flew over the oppositions territory. Remember the Cuban missile crisis, well, had one side found out about the other side's satellite, the fall out would be off the scale.
A more effective and safe alternative to the satellite would be the rocket which would explode high above in the atmosphere rather than low on the ground. There would be casualties but not as high if the explosion was low.
An E.M.P. attack in the high altitude would have to access to rockets and no terrorist organisation is known to posses those. The people who have the rockets to get to such a high are governments and prominent organisations such as Space-X and Blue Origin to name two. Terrorists that would like to do this sort of thing would prefer to kill people rather than attack electronic equipment.
Terrorists would prefer to make a dirty bomb, nuclear material wrapped round conventional explosives so that when the explosion occurs, a large area would be affected. Nuclear material is high regulated and monitored, its difficult to obtain.
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