The 2019 Space Weather Workshop will be held April 1-5 at the Hilton Garden Inn/Embassy Suites in Boulder, Colorado.
Mark your calendars!
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Glossary of Terms

  • EMP: An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is a strong electromagnetic field. The pulse produces electromagnetic radiation, and the energy from this radiation is what affects electrical technologies.
  • HEMP: A high-altitude electromagnetic pulse, or HEMP, is a strong electromagnetic field created by a nuclear explosion in space.
  • E1 Wave: An E1 wave is the earliest part of a HEMP pulse. It is very quick, only lasting about a microsecond, and is driven by gamma rays. This is the highest point of intensity for the HEMP wave, where electrical breakdown voltages are surpassed causing computers and related technology to fail.
  • E3 Wave: An E3 wave is the last part of a HEMP pulse and is much slower than an E1 wave, potentially lasting tens or hundreds of seconds. It has very different effects than an E1 but can be as, if not more, damaging. The nuclear explosion temporarily alters earth’s magnetic field, which causes the E3 wave.
  • SCADA Systems: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, or SCADA, are computer-based systems that physically control industrial processes such as infrastructure and energy production. More specifically, SCADA is a system that uses coded communication to control remote equipment.
  • FERC: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is a United States federal agency responsible for regulating interstate electrical, natural gas, and oil activities. FERC also reviews proposals to build and license in other energy-related areas.
  • NERC: The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, or NERC, is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a trade association that lobbies to assure the reliability of the North American power system.
  • HVT: A high voltage transformer, or HVT, is an electrical device that transfers energy between at least two circuits through electromagnetic induction, which is essentially the production of a voltage across some conductor when exposed to a changing magnetic field. Another way of looking at it is that an HVT takes very high voltage electricity and makes it manageable and usable to be transferred to the consumer.
  • Solid Ground Blocking Device: The Solid Ground Blocking Device is a technological innovation meant to block and protect against geomagnetic disturbances and EMP currents of any size. The device blocks direct currents from flowing in the neutral of large power transformers. It effectively grounds the transformer at all times and gets rid of bad harmonics.
  • Metcalf Substation: The Metcalf Transmission Substation is an electrical power distribution center owned by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E Corp) outside of San Jose, California. It provides electricity to Silicon Valley and much of the San Francisco Bay area. On April 16, 2013, gunmen fired on 17 of the substation’s transformers and caused $15 million worth of damage. Some noted that the attacks were “sophisticated,” and new security standards have been created for substations.
  • Carrington Event: The Carrington Event was an intense geomagnetic solar storm in 1859. A powerful burst of solar wind and magnetic fields hit Earth’s magnetosphere, creating one of the largest geomagnetic storms in recorded history. Studies have shown that if a similar storm of this scale occurred today, it would likely cause significant issues for civilization.
  • NOAA: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that focuses on the condition of oceans and the atmosphere. They also study climate and coasts as related topics.
  • EEI: Edison Electric Institute, or EEI, is an association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Its members provide electricity for 220 million Americans.