Radar and Sonar Detection

2136 Words9 Pages

People are used to using one’s eyes as their main source of sensing their surroundings, sometimes with their sense of smell as an auxiliary. However, sometimes it is not possible to use one’s vision effectively, for example, when one is trying to detect something at a significant distance, or when the conditions for viewing are not ideal, or perhaps when one has lost or has never possessed the sense of vision. All of these are situations where the sense of vision would be insufficient to meet one’s needs.

In order to over come these obstacles, humans discovered and alternate way to see the world using sound. Nevertheless, make no mistake; humans were far from the first to use this ‘advanced’ technology.


In 1793, Italian naturalist, Lazzaro Spallanzani found that blinded bats could navigate just as effectively as normal bats. After further research, it was discovered that bats navigate using echolocation, eventually, also known as biosonar. Echolocation is detection using sound waves. While different species of bats have evolved to using different ways of echolocation, the most precise of the species would be the Horseshoe bat. This unique bat generates an ultrasound frequency of 83 kHz using its larynx, and then listens and processes the echoes it hears. These echoes are made by the sound wave that the bat has generated bouncing off of objects in the range of the wave. The bat uses this information to interpret its surroundings.

Other birds and animals that use echolocation to some extent include, but are not limited to, dolphins, toothed whales, Oilbirds, Swiftlets, Shrews and Tenrecs.

It was not long before people realized what advantages this new discovery could mean.

Sound Waves...

... middle of paper ...

.... Web. 29 Nov. 2009. .

"Sonar: Technology Gallery for." Discovery of Sound in the Sea. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. .

"Sound waves." University of Manitoba. Web. 19 Nov. 2009. .

"SpringerLink - Journal Article." SpringerLink Home - Main. Web. 29 Nov. 2009. 26


Launer, Donald. (2009). Navigation through the ages. Sheridan House Inc.

Johnson, Bill. (2009). Essential boat radar. West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley.

More about Radar and Sonar Detection

Open Document