The Radar
Not an easy topic but you gave it a good effort. As I said in my notes, images would have helped.
B+ B
What is it?
The radar is a detection system that can find an object’s range, altitude, direction, or speed. They can track storms, weapons, planes and make topographic maps (maps in great detail and showing relief). Radars are used to track planes both on the ground and in the air, they are used by police to check speeds of motor vehicles and they are used by NASA to monitor the Earth. Radars are put to use in many different ways, from meteorologists tracking storms to the automatic doors at a supermarket. The idea of radar is quite simple:a signal is transmitted, it bounces off an object and it is later received by some type of receiver, similar to how an echo works. Radars do not, however, pick up on sound waves. They pick up on various types of electromagnetic waves. Unlike sound waves, electromagnetic waves can travel through a vacuum. This is why satellites can be used efficiently by NASA to investigate other planets.

Discovery and Development
The “father” of the radar was the German physicist Heinrich Hertz (who also had the measure of frequency in waves named Hertz after him). In 1886 he showed that radio waves could be reflected from solid metallic objects. This was acted upon in the early 20th century for the first time when German inventor Christian Hülsmeyer created a simple detection device to avoid collision. This was called the telemobiloscope.In the 1930s, countries United States, Great Britain, Germany, the USSR, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Italy developed their own systems similar to Hülsmeyer’s. In 1940 this invention was named the RADAR – RAdio Detection And Ranging.
Radars have very many uses in both scientific, military and everyday scenarios. Among these are:
  • Weather radars are used in forecasting
  • Aviation radars are used to warn aircraft of other vehicles in the air and objects in their path.
  • Marine radars are not the same as nautical radars; they are used to measure the bearing and position of ships.
  • Air traffic control and navigation radars help make sure a plane is safe and does not crash.
  • Detection and search radars show an object’s location from a long range.
  • Target acquisition systems are used to locate missiles as well as detecting cars speeds.
  • Missile guidance systems are used to locate a target of a missile in military aircraft.
  • Nautical radars are used to locate landmarks and ships in the oceans and outer-space.
  • Bird and insect radars track the migration patterns of certain species.

Heinrich Hertz
Heinrich Hertz experimented with electromagnetic waves in 1887. He found that some waves could be reflected by some materials and would pass through others.
Guglielmo Marconi
Christian Hülsmeyer
Nikola Tesla



All about RADAR, including:
What is it?
Discover & development.
Historical events.