The word radar refers to a system by which the range, direction, altitude or speed of an object can be determined by using radio waves.
Radio waves are similar to light waves. They travel at the same speed-but their waves have much longer wavelengths and higher frequencies.
The radio waves used by radar are produced by a piece of equipment called a magnetron.
Once the radio waves have been generated, an antenna, working as a transmitter, hurls them into the air. The radio waves travel outward from the antenna at the speed of light and keep going until they hit something.
Then, some of them bounce back toward the antenna in a beam of reflected radio waves, also traveling at the speed of light. The antenna picks up the reflected radio waves and displays them on a screen.
Using radar, an operator can see any nearby ships or planes, where they are, how quickly they’re traveling, and where they’re heading.
When was radar first used?
Christian Hulsmeyer was a German inventor. He is often credited with the invention of radar. His apparatus was called the ‘Telemobiloscope.’ However, it could not directly measure the distance to a target, so it was no radar in the proper sense of the technology.
In December 1934, Robert M. Page, working at the Naval Research Laboratory, demonstrated a complete radar system.
The following year, the US Army successfully tested primitive, surface-to-surface radar. Great Britain was one of the leading developers of radar in the years before World War II.
On June 17th, 1935, radio-based detection and ranging or radar was first demonstrated in Great Britain. Radar stations were built around the British Isles to provide warnings of an invasion from the air.
Radar was used at first exclusively by the military. Now, radar is used by air traffic controllers to make sure that planes do not collide with each other.