Components Of Radio Detecting And Ranging (RADAR)

Radio Detecting And Ranging (RADAR)

Radar (an acronym for Radio Detecting and Ranging) is used to detect direction, speed, velocity, range, altitude of an object with the help of radio waves. Radar find applications in various systems such as Air Traffic Control to track planes both on and off the grounds. It is used to track satellites and proves extremely beneficial to the armed forces to detect enemy activity and to guide weapons. Additionally it can be also used to detect storms, hurricanes and tornadoes.

Key Components:

All Radar sets typically comprise of few similar components. The most essential component is one that generates radio waves and to transmit them- Transmitter. The Duplexer module acts as a switch to toggle the antenna between sending & receiving modes. This way the transmitter doubles up as a receiver and only one antenna is used A Receiver module is employed to receive the signals, amplify them and convert them into video format. The Radar Antenna beams the radio waves into the air with the necessary distribution and efficiency.

Working Principle:

The radar employs a magnetron to generate radio waves characterized by longer wavelengths and higher frequencies. These waves are capable of traveling a long distance without attenuation.

Once the radio waves are generated and are transmitted, they keep travelling until they encounter an obstruction/object of any nature. On contact with an obstruction/object, some of the waves reflect back to the radar. An antenna is usually curved so it focuses only on a narrow beam, but a radar antenna usually rotates so that it can track movements over a large area.

The antenna also serves the purpose of a receiver. The reflected waves received by the antenna are directed to electronic equipment which processes and converts them into a video format and displays on the output system for an operator to understand.