An investigation of the usefulness of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic measurements for treaty verification

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From FY 1986 through FY 1988, we monitored extremely low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic (EM) fields to determine whether these signals could be detected from underground nuclear explosions. Signals clearly related to underground tests were detected only when the ELF field sensors were located within 10 km of surface ground zero. Theoretical analysis, based on the results of these measurements, shows that the ELF impulse signals from underground nuclear tests are of longer duration than those from lightning sources and are, therefore, less efficient in exciting resonances in the earth-ionosphere cavity, even though the source strength for each may be the same. ... continued below

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Sweeney, J.J. January 1, 1989.

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Description

From FY 1986 through FY 1988, we monitored extremely low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic (EM) fields to determine whether these signals could be detected from underground nuclear explosions. Signals clearly related to underground tests were detected only when the ELF field sensors were located within 10 km of surface ground zero. Theoretical analysis, based on the results of these measurements, shows that the ELF impulse signals from underground nuclear tests are of longer duration than those from lightning sources and are, therefore, less efficient in exciting resonances in the earth-ionosphere cavity, even though the source strength for each may be the same. Thus, ELF signals from underground nuclear tests with yields of <150 kT are generally lower than the background signals caused by worldwide lightning activity. Our conclusion is that ELF monitoring probably will not be useful for detecting underground nuclear tests at distances >10 km from the tests. 16 refs., 24 figs., 3 tabs.

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NTIS, PC A04 - OSTI; 3.

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  • Other Information: Paper copy only, copy does not permit microfiche production

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  • Other: DE89010560
  • Report No.: UCRL-53899
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/6294530 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 6294530
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1113279

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • January 1, 1989

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 22, 2018, 7:45 p.m.

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  • April 26, 2018, 6:45 p.m.

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Sweeney, J.J. An investigation of the usefulness of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic measurements for treaty verification, report, January 1, 1989; [Livermore,] California. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1113279/: accessed August 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.