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High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP/EMP)

High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) and IEMI (Intentional Electromagnetic Interference) are two special electromagnetic threat/mitigation scenarios. A HEMP is the result of a nuclear detonation at an altitude greater than 30 miles. The electromagnetic field generated by the effects of gamma rays interacting with the atmosphere at approximately 15-30 miles in altitude is what is referred to as an “Electromagnetic Pulse”. Such a pulse can be very intense (50,000 V/m) and very broadband, subjecting a variety of electronics and power and other infrastructure to potential damage.

Many military systems have already been hardened for EMP through design or the creation of special shielded environments suitable for military operations. However, Civil Infrastructure is still very vulnerable to damage from an EMP.

Mitigation of EMP effects is a complex undertaking, and the specific actions taken will depend upon equipment or facility criticality, size, geographic span, and interconnections.

Military systems are often enclosed in a fully-shielded environment composed of a highly conductive material (often steel) with penetrations specially designed to accommodate function with RF shielding.

Clipboard01This is generally not an approach that fits most Civil Infrastructure. For instance, a power system includes generation stations, transmission lines, substations, and distribution infrastructure. There is no sensible way to completely shield such a geographically dispersed system. Mitigation of such a complex system must utilize measures such as logistical spares, redundancy, and critical subsystem hardening to minimize damage and downtime to the overall system functionality.

FMS provides EMP consultation services around the world to assist in mitigating the increasing threat of EMP and IEMI to civil infrastructure around the world.

Our services include:

  • Design of EMP/IEMI shielding to meet equipment and system performance specifications.
  • Design of cost-effective mitigation measures to increase the resilience of Civil Infrastructure systems to EMP/IEMI.
  • Vulnerability Assessment of Civil Infrastructure systems to EMP/IEMI threats.
  • Testing of critical Civil Infrastructure subsystems to determine their hardening requirements.
  • Installation of EMP/IEMI Mitigation, including EMP/IEMI shielding.

FMS has extensive experience with all aspects of electromagnetic protection from the impact of EMP/IEMI threats. FMS’ staff have experience developing unique mitigation approaches and have collaborated closely with experts and clients around the globe in the design and implementation of civil infrastructure resilience that matches the electromagnetic threats that are likely to be encountered. FMS staff have “written the book” on EMP hardening measures for civil infrastructure in collaboration with experts around the world.

Recent Projects

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

As the EMI Consultant, FMS performed an assessment of the potential for large power distribution systems to impact the operations of sensitive imaging tools and other susceptible electronic equipment.

EMI Assessment for New East River Science Park

The East River Science Park (ERSP) currently under construction in Manhattan, will be a state-of-the-art research and development campus for New York-based bioscience businesses looking to expand R&D efforts.

Acess – Japan

While designing a new fourteen (14) story headquarters building in Osaka, Japan, Acces Co. Ltd., a major software development company


Over its 20 years, FMS has successfully completed hundreds of EMI projects which included a diverse range of consulting and mitigation services.

Take a look at a list of the markets we serve »