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Picture of a large radar antenna

Radar is a machine that uses radio waves to find objects such as aircraft, ships, and rain.

The basic parts of a radar are:

  • The transmitter creates the radio waves.
  • The antenna directs the radio waves.
  • The receiver measures the waves which are bounced back by the object that the radar is trying to find.

By doing this, the radar can locate the object. Radar is used in many different ways, such as finding speeding cars, the amount of water in the air, traffic, etc.

Radar was first used in 1904 by Christian Huelsmeyer. He was given a patent for radar (Reichspatent Nr. 165546). It became commonplace during World War II.

The word RADAR was created in 1942 as an acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging. This acronym replaced the British initialism RDF (Radio Direction Finding). The word is now thought of by many people as a regular word, no longer as an acronym.

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) use several kinds of radar:

  • ARSR (Air Route Surveillance Radar)
  • ASR (Airport Surveillance Radar)
  • ASDE (Airport Surface Detection Equipment)
  • TDWR (Terminal Doppler Weather Radar)
  • PAR (Precision Approach Radar)

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