Before we know, What’s inside the radar? It is more important for us to know, What is a Radar?
RADAR : It stands for “Radio Detection And Ranging” & “Radio Direction And Ranging”
Now, We know the abbreviation of RADAR but that’s not enough knowledge my dear friend! Lets suppose you are walking on road late night and there are no street lights. What would you do? Obviously, You will turn on the flashlight of your smartphone. You can also shine your torch if you are still living in medieval period. It can save you from tripping.
In the same way, RADAR works. Think of a plane flying during the evening through thick haze. Pilots won’t be able to see where they’re heading, so they utilize the radar in such circumstances.
Isn’t it life saving? No doubt it is, or I say it has been.
What happens inside the radar?
Its fundamental working requires devices to generate EMWs , send & receive waves, and display collected data. Now, We have know what is an EMWs? It stand for Electro Magnetic Waves. Hence, These are made by superposition of electrical and magnetic signal. Look at the following image :
In such type of waves electric field vector & magnetic field vector are perpendicular to each other. Thus, this leads to formation of EMWs which is mutually perpendicular to them.
How do these waves travel? You must know that EMWs can travel with or without medium.
How fast these waves travel? Let me tell you, EMWs travel with the same speed as that of light.
Now, We know some basics but stop right there. Let me tell you that there are multiple types of EMWs so which one is used by RADAR system? The EMWs used by the RADAR are microwaves.
Microwaves are the part of Electromagnetic spectrum but they have larger wavelengths as compared to that of visible light. I want to tell you a fact, wanna hear? Wavelength of visible light is so small that it is 100 times thinner than our hairs. I think this is enough talk for EMWs otherwise it will be more of a science class.
So where were we? Yes, We were talking about the various devices used inside the RADAR. Here’s the list of devices present inside the radar!
- Duplexer – Switches antenna between transmission & receiver mode
- Antenna – It transmits and receive waves
- Display system
From the above infographic, you can easily understand the basic functioning of the devices present in it.
Inside the radar – In Brief
As soon as the radio waves are generated, Duplexer makes antenna to work as a transmitter. Antenna transmits waves into the surroundings or, in a particular direction. These microwaves move outward from the antenna with the speed of light and continue to move until they hit some thing. When these waves hit something, they get reflected or, I say bounce back. Again duplexer, switches the function of antenna and receives the bounced back signals.
Later, this information is extracted from the received signals and the same is displayed on RADAR’s display system. It happens in a mere fraction of second (1/1000 of a second).
Principle involved in the working of radar
Several principles are involved in the working of the RADAR system such as illumination, reflection, doppler effect, and polarization.
Use of RADAR
There’s no harm saying RADAR a military technology. In the early days, there was no way to detect the enemy aircrafts which resulted in many casualties. So as to tackle this situation RADARs were developed. Necessity has always been the mother of invention!
Some of the uses of RADAR:-
- Military purposes
- Weather forcasting
- Air traffic control
- Sea traffic control
This technology expanded its roots all over the globe. Without it, We cannot imagine a our daily life. Suppose if there is no RADAR in air traffic control center. Thousand of people may loose their life everyday. Same goes with the sea traffic control.
Weather forcasting wouldn’t be possible without it. Also, Geologist cannot predict the movement in the earth crust without the radar technology. Will you like earthquake with no warning?
Interesting uses of RADAR
Have you ever been pulled over by a cop for overspeeding? If yes, don’t overspeed next time. That’s not my part, I wanted to tell you about the device used by them. The same gun look-alike machine works on the fundamentals of RADAR and is popularly known as Doppler RADAR.
It works on the principle of Doppler effect (The change in frequency or wavelength of wave for an observer because of the motion of either source or observer). The best explanation for this effect is when an ambulance passes us, We can notice the change in sound of its siren. When it moves past us, sound becomes loud and when it moves away it is less louder.
We can also notice the use of RADAR system in the submarines. They use it outside the water as inside the deep sea water it is not as much effective. Instead of RADAR, SONAR (Sound Navigation And Ranging) technology is used underwater to navigate through the dark ocean, sea or whatever.
Nowadays people can use these RADAR system for house security purposes. As with the advancement in technology, this technology is getting cheaper day by day.
How to avoid radar?
Everything in this world can be altered, changed or be avoided so as the RADAR system. To be able to avoid RADAR, We must absorb or scatter the waves transmitted from antenna. Different types of material, design and equipments can be made for this job. Such technology is being used by the several countries to create stealth drones, planes, bomber and fighter jets.
Normal person like me and you cannot get past through it without getting detected.
Invention of RADAR!
RADAR system cannot can classified as an invention by a single person. Many well known scientists contributed their hard work for this. Out of all the scientists, Robert Watson-Watt (Scottish physicist) best known for his overwhelming contribution in this field.
Thanks for reading, Have a nice day!