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Light Flash Produced by an Atmospheric Nuclear Explosion

By Department of National Security

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Book Id: WPLBN0000663889
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 509,519 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2005
Full Text

Title: Light Flash Produced by an Atmospheric Nuclear Explosion  
Author: Department of National Security
Language: English
Subject: Government Reference Publication, Transportation., Transportation Administrative Service Center (U.S.)
Collections: National Security Archive Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Transportation Security Administration


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National Security, D. O. (n.d.). Light Flash Produced by an Atmospheric Nuclear Explosion. Retrieved from

Current concern regarding nuclear-weapon proliferation has re-emphasized the interest in detecting nuclear tests conducted anywhere In the world. Such tests could be conducted underground or in the atmosphere. One means of detecting atmospheric nuclear explosions utilizes an optical sensor developed during the years of US atmospheric nuclear tests. It detects and records the extremely bright and characteristic flash of light from an atmospheric explosion. The high intensity of the light flash makes this a sensitive technique, and the distinctive signature of the light signal reduces the likelihood of errors In identifying the detected signal as a nuclear ?vent. In addition, timing information in the light signature can be used to infer the energy released by the nuclear explosion, I.e., the yield.


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