The full form of SONAR is Sound Navigation and Ranging. The SONAR method is also called echo ranging. It is a device that utilizes ultrasonic waves to estimate and measure the distance, direction and speed of objects underwater.
Types of SONAR
There are two types of sonar and they are:
- Active sonar: The sonar emits an acoustic signal into the water and if there is any object on the way of the signal, it gets bounced back and returns an echo to the sonar transducer. Sonar transducer measures the strength of the signal. The time taken by the emitted signal and its reception is the orientation and range of the object.
- Passive sonar: This sonar is used for detecting the noise coming from the marine objects such as submarines, and other marine animals like whales. Passive sonar does not emit its own signal instead it listen to the signals that travel towards it.
Principle of SONAR:
It uses echoes in to determine the sea-depth and locating the presence of objects underwater.
Working of SONAR:
- It consists of a transmitter and a detector and is installed in a ship or a boat.
- The transmitter in SONAR produces and transmits powerful ultrasonic waves.
- The ultrasonic waves travel through the water and after striking the target the beam is reflected from the seabed and is received by an underwater detector (mounted on the ship).
- The detector then converts the waves into electrical signals which are properly interpreted.
- The time interval between transmission and reception of the signal is also noted.
Applications of SONAR Technology
The basic use of sonar technology is to estimate the depth, range, and direction of arrival of objects. Following are the various different applications of sonar technology:
- Special sonars are used in ships and submarines for underwater communications.
- Medical imaging for the detection of cysts and cancer cells is done using sonar and this method is known as sonogram.
- It is used for the detection of enemy vessels and torpedoes by the military.
- Sonar also finds application in inspecting pipelines that carry oil and gas for detecting possible damages.