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The term Radar was given by the navy of the United States of America in 1940 as an acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging. Radar , and is basically a scientific object detection  system  that uses radio waves or microwaves, that are electromagnetic waves, to detect  the space objects, ballistic missiles, aircraft etc. Its working principle is based on transmitting and receiving antenna that work with the help of microwaves.


Radar is a system that uses electromagnet waves or radio waves,to detect the altitude,velocity,range and direction of ships,spaceships,aircrafts,missiles and also monitors the  weather condition.There are many types of radars , such as, Monopulse radar, Continous wave radar, Passive radar, Doppler radar, Planar array radar, Bistatic radar, Synthetic aperture radar, Pulse Doppler radar etc. Radar works on the basis of many principles such as the principle of reflection, Doppler Effect, Radar equation etc. Radar consists of transmitting and receiving antenna. The transmitting antenna sends radio waves , and if any object comes on the way of these waves, they are reflected back and received by the receiving antenna, that is situated near the transmitter. Thus, radar is able to locate the object by calculating the distance and the time taken by the microwaves to emit and radiate the electromagnetic waves.

History of Radar

Radar was a secretly developed system by several countries of the world during World War II. The invention of radar took place by the concept of radio waves. Radar came into existence  because of the  radio waves, without which, the invention of  Radar would  have been impossible. Today, radar is a well recognized piece of apparatus that is used in many forms , and about which, almost everybody  must  have heard of it. Before the Second World  War, although, radar technology was regarded as a secret project that was taken by various nations. But,  the first time, radar was officially defined in the 19th century by a German scientist, called Heinrich Hertz, who was the one who discovered that radio waves are reflected from almost all objects that are mad of metals. This same principle of reflection was followed  by radio waves or microwaves  in electromagnetism. The first  object detection using  radar method was practically applied in the  beginning of the 20th Century by a prominent scientist Christian Hulsmeyer , who was successful in forming a very simple system to locate  ships through mist .ln 1940, many developments took place in many developed countries of the present time , such as, Japan,  the USA, Russia, and many countries of the European continent. Because of its immense success in these  countries, the use of radar got much recognition in the Second World War  and many radar sets were planted  across the border of Germany, during the time of Cold War.

 Advantages of Radar

Radar found its first use for military purposes: to locate ground, sea and air targets. It mainly calculates the range, speed, altitude and direction of objects such as aircraft, missiles, spaceships, motor vehicles etc. It is also used for the defense system, marine radars, ocean surveillance system(Maritime Safety), outer space surveillance, flight control systems, air traffic control etc. In the aviation system, aircrafts are equipped with radar that warn of aircraft about the approaching obstacles in their path, gives altitude reading accurately and also displays weather information(States of Jersey,Meteorological Department). Radars in sea and oceans are used for the measurement of the distances of the approaching ships to prevent collision, to locate islands, light ships and ports or harbors. It also finds its use in meteorological department for forecasting weather and climate, eruption of volcano or earthquake or any such natural occurrence (Radar applications by NASA). It also helps in many other causes and processes such as water pumping and extraction of fuels derived from fossils that are of great value. Radar is very helpful in interferometric topographic mapping, that is applied in geophysical processes. Thus, radar is a very useful scientific invention of this century and has many advantages in human life as many other inventions and discoveries.              

Disadvantages of Radar

Every advantage comes with its own disadvantage. Although radar has many advantages, but the fact can not be denied that it also has many disadvantages or shortcomings, such as, radar can give incorrect reading if any big objects or many sources  comes on its way, thus, leading to the problem of jamming, which is one of its main drawbacks..Radar is not able to identify  any object if the deceleration is greater than one mile per hour. Also, it needs many sources of energy to operate, although, many improvements are in progress to solve this issue.


Inspite of the above mentioned disadvantages,still,radar is very helpful in day to day life,for weather forecasting,for detecting enemy’s weapons during the time of war.So,it can be concluded that the advantages of radar are far more better than in comparison to its disadvantages. It  has truly brought global revolution that has led to the progress of the people almost in all parts of the world, in one way or the other. It has revolutionized human life in true sense. Even the most difficult thing seems easy now.  But, as human beings are considered to be the most superior organism of this universe, so, it depends on them how they make use of it.As the most superior creature, it is human’s duties to extract the maximum benefits out of this system that may not only be advantageous for him but also for the rest of the world.  If  he wants, of course, he can  use it for the betterment of  his own life and  also other  people’s lives, it totally depends on him , how he avails these opportunities and reduce the disadvantages out of it by inventing new technologies or improving the already existing ones.


  1. Agarwal, N.(n.d.)The history of development of technology Retrived from
  2. Jet Propulsion Laboratory ,California Institute of Technology.(n.d.).Radar Science & engineering.Retrieved from
  3. National Geospatial –Intelligence Agency.(n.d.).Radar  navigation and maneuvering board Manual.Retrieved from
  4. States of Jersey. Meteorological Department’s Official Website. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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