Hacking the Van Allen Radiation Belts
is scary. Believe it or not, there is a group of scientists who think
it might be a good idea to beam very low frequency (VLF) radiation into
the upper atmosphere to erase the
Van Allen radiation belts. I kid you not. An article in the March
2014 edition of IEEE's
Spectrum magazine describes a plan to clear out the proton
cloud residing in the inner belt (1,000 - 9,600 km altitude) and the
electron cloud hovering in the outer belt (13,500 - 58,000 km altitude).
Both Van Allen radiation belts, particularly the outer ring, are hazardous
to electronics, i.e., satellites, because of the circuit-frying potential
due to a build-up of electric charges that can, under certain conditions,
penetrate an imperfect Faraday shield.
Telstar I succumbed to the mechanism thanks to increased activity
from a high-altitude nuclear explosion experiment a day before the Telstar
launch. According to one scientist's calculations, "you'd need a million,
15-meter antennas operating for a few years" to disperse the belts.
I shudder to think about the possibility that all it
take to get funding for such a lunatic proposal would be to somehow
convince politicians that doing so would reverse global warming - or
that doing so would add to their current extreme wealth. If this was
the April issue, I'd think they were attempting to fool me.
I recently posted a few articles reporting on the
International Geophysical Year (IGY) activities in the late 1950s,
during which time
James Van Allen first discovered the radiation belts.
a great tag line on the website for this story: "Electric Light Orchestrated?"
Posted March 5, 2014
1996 - 2018
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas
and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer.
The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available
in the form of WYSIWYG
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text
used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.
My Hobby Website: AirplanesAndRockets.com