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What's the difference between sonar and radar?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Sonar, an acronym for Sound Navigation and Ranging, is a detection system based on the reflection of underwater sound waves, just as radar is based on the reflection of radio waves in air. The sonar emits ultrasonic pulses using a submerged radiating device. It listens with a sensitive microphone, or hydrophone, for reflected pulses from potential obstacles or submarines. The sonar is used by airplanes and ships each deploying a different type of sonar. Airplanes use a device called a sonobuoy, consisting of a hydrophone mounted on a floating buoy. Spin-offs from the development of sonar technology include acoustic oceanography, the study of ocean properties using a variety of acoustic means, and an imaging or remote-sensing technique using computer analysis to study the data collected when acoustic signals are passed through an object.
Radar is an electronic system, used to locate objects beyond the range of vision, and to determine their distance by projecting radio waves against them. Also known as Radio Detection and Ranging it helps in the location of distant objects. The object's position in space, its size, shape, velocity and direction of motion can be determined. All radar equipment consists of a transmitter, an antenna, a receiver and an indicator. It employs a high-frequency radio transmitter to send out a beam of electromagnetic waves, ranging in wavelength from a few centimetres to about 1 m, by means of an antenna. It concentrates the waves into a shaped beam pointing in the desired direction. Objects in the path of the beam reflect these waves back to the transmitter forming an echo signal.
- Anonymous6 years ago
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- tomLv 61 decade ago
Sonar works underwater. Radar works in the air, on the surface. Sonar is a sound impulse. Radar is an electron beam. Sonar works at the speed of sound. Radar works at the speed of light.
- 6 years ago
I just watched a TED presentation by a blind person who uses sonar. I had thought that sonar, like many of the answers above, was sound used underwater (like dolphins). Obviously he doesn't use radio waves, so it seems like the definition of sonar should be using sound in water OR AIR, to locate, identify, avoid, etc. objects on land or in the water.
- Capt. JohnLv 71 decade ago
Sonar (SOund NAvigation and Ranging) uses sound (usually underwater) to navigate, communicate or to detect other vessels.
Radar (Radio Detection and Ranging) is a system that uses electromagnetic waves to identify the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects such as aircraft, ships, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain.
Old fish finders & depth sounders on used to be sonar...
New ones all use radar.
- 1 decade ago
Sonar is used under the water. Radar is used above the water. Sonar is used on boats and subs. Radar is used on boats, again, planes, and radar towers.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Radar uses radio waves for air and surface detection. Sonar used sound for underwater detection.