How does RADAR work?

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RADAR: Fact File!

Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers use RADAR to help to get a clear picture of everything in the sky. Modern aircraft have a huge variety of systems which help with this, but RADAR was the first.

RADAR stands for radio detection and ranging.  If you’ve ever played with an echo, then that’s kind of the way it works.

Strong radio waves are sent out by a transmitter – it’s like making ripples in a pond.  These waves hit objects in the distance and the waves come back.  A receiver in effect ‘listens’ for the reflected waves and by studying the reflected signals, it can work out the position of objects

RADAR is so clever, it can even tell the size of the object and give information about the distance it is travelling.

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