Here we found out that, in some way, we can put an EMP device in a fake satellite on a low earth orbit.

A Web search revealed that a large device detonated at 400-500 km over Kansas would switch-off North and Central America.

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But we need to switch off all the continents but Antarctica and Greenland. So, how many "EMP satellites" we need?

Using a (flat) world map and assuming a 2400 km (1500 miles) radius...

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... we can see that we need about 15 warheads (let's say for now that the amount of damages inside the red circles is homogeneous)(oh snap, western Australia).

Assuming that this is a good strategy, how do we place fifteen EMP satellites in the right position if we have two or three launch facilities (anywhere you want) without arousing suspicion? (Let's say that the satellites are in a Faraday cage so they will not be affected by the explosions).


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  • $\begingroup$ I imagine timing this right is going to be bordering on impossible. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Apr 21 '16 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ Why would timing be at all difficult? Launch at leisure, put maneuvering thrusters on each satellite, pick a time to do the deed, get into the necessary orbits. You need a fair amount of lead time, and if you decide not to pull the trigger at first opportunity it will take you a while to set up for the next opportunity, but other than that, what's the problem? $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Apr 21 '16 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ I mean, sure, if Greenland-based Lupetto Aerospace starts launching a bunch of big LEO satellites, we can assume they're up to something. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Apr 21 '16 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove He's talking about lining up the 15 satellites with existing satellites to confuse their positions. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Apr 21 '16 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ @called2voyage just use our own satellite system against us. Have a signal that each time cycles down until it disappears. Then what? Checkmate. $\endgroup$ – Aron Apr 24 '16 at 4:03

Give the satellites another purpose. For example planetary imaging, monitoring of pollution, or measuring spread of ice. Even GPS or TV signals. It doesn't really matter. It could even be a physics experiment measuring the speed of light or relativity or something.

Arrange the orbits so that "by coincidence" at a certain time in X years they'll all be in the right position. Set them up to go boom at that time.

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    $\begingroup$ And hope you don't change your mind in the interim. $\endgroup$ – a CVn May 11 '16 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ Just give every satellite in this "constellation" the same orbital altitude and they can all be in the right position once per day. . $\endgroup$ – MichaelK May 15 '17 at 11:52

Hide the bastards as a "new, modern alternative to gps and glonass". Put them on several 36 degrees separated orbits and forget about counting the warheads, turn it up to 11 by placing as much as needed to fill all the space under the satellite constellations (12 by "track"? maybe less...). Synchronize their clocks, detonante all at once. Happy new 1800 everyone!

  • $\begingroup$ At those altitudes, you probably would not get any EMP production. $\endgroup$ – Joe Kissling May 15 '17 at 15:59

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