tube technology and EMP

Dwight K. Elvey dwight.elvey at
Thu Apr 21 13:52:38 CDT 2005

>From: "Randy McLaughlin" <cctalk at>
>From: "Heinz Wolter" <h.wolter at>
>Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 12:09 PM
>> wasn't there some urban-tech legend about the Americans getting
>> hold of a Cuban MIG fighter and laughing at the low-tech electronics they
>> found?
>> Purportedly - the Russians were using tubes! ..that are claimed to be EMP
>> proof.
>> EMP as in nuke-you-lar bomb (some important guy pronounces it like that!
>> bizzare..)
>> Now, perhaps tubes could be EMP tolerant, but they wouldn't be radiation
>> tolerant,
>> would they? After all, isn't that how Geiger-Muller rad counter tubes 
>> work?
>> Any mil-space-design spooks out there worked with  rad-hard technology?
>> I've read  4000 cmos is the wrong thing  use for your home-made nuke
>> countdown unit,
>> but that RCA1802s fared better in early OSCAR and other satellites...
>> h
>The Russians were right in keeping tubes well beyond what we did.  That's 
>how they got to venus!
>There are many areas tubes go well beyond what can be done in solid state.

 There is a process for CMOS call RAD hardening. It is
a process of exposing the CMOS to radiation for a period
of time. It reduces the efficiency of the transistors
but they don't degrade as fast ( comparatively ) once
this is done.
 As far as solid state goes, silicon is a limiter. Other
semiconducting materials can work at higher temperatures.
Toyota has worked out a way to produce large quantities
of defect free silicon-carbide. This can be used to make
transistors that can be run at several hundred degrees
C. This is of course interesting to them because they
like to have high power transistors for electric cars.
 Another material that hasn't been used to much is
diamond. This is one of the best material to make
transistors from since it has such good thermal properties.
There are still a lot of processing problem to work
out for this to be of much use. They already have the
ability to create diamond films.

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