SARA’s High-Power Microwave (HPM) Testing examines the response of systems and subsystems to known HPM environments and identifies any vulnerabilities. HPM testing results in timely, reliable, and consistent data to aid in determining if the system or subsystem’s operational performance requirements are met. HPM testing uses surrogate threat systems to validate the survivability of blue systems and investigate the lethality of developmental blue HPM systems against surrogate red threats. The response of a digital electronics-based target to an HPM illumination is inherently statistical. There are millions of digital “gates” susceptible to upset in a modern electronics-based threat.
SARA personnel plan, manage, and execute tests to validate the survivability of critical infrastructure to Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP), and tests to investigate the maturity of developmental HPM systems and quantify their effectiveness (lethality) against information technology, industrial controls, consumer electronics used in radio controlled improvised explosive devices (RC-IEDs), and unmanned airborne systems (UASs) to name a few. This includes development, operation, and maintenance of the high-power source; acquisition, operation, and maintenance of test articles; assessment of effects on the test articles and their repair; characterization of the electromagnetic environment; development of probability of effect curves; and documentation of the procedures and results. SARA has a shielded chamber in which to conduct testing; a high-power source capable of generating narrowband waveforms in L-, S-, C-bands at 100 MW power levels; TEM and GTEM cells for high-power impulse and wideband testing; high-speed diagnostics; and experienced personnel to execute the testing.