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Radar is a system that uses electromagnetic waves to identify the range,
altitude, direction, or speed of both moving and fixed objects such as aircraft, ships,
motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The term Radar was coined in 1941 as an
acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging.
The first to use radio waves to detect the presence of distant metallic objects was
Christian Hülsmeyer, who in 1904 demonstrated the feasibility of detecting the presence of
a ship in dense fog, but not its distance.
In 1934, Émile Girardeau, working with the first French radar systems,
stated he was building radar systems conceived according to the principles stated by Tesla
A radar system has a transmitter that emits radio waves that are reflected by the target and
detected by a receiver, typically in the same location as the transmitter.
Although the radio signal returned is usually very weak, the signal can be amplified.
This enables radar to detect objects at ranges where other emissions, such as sound or
visible light, would be too weak to detect.
Modern radar systems are highly sophisticated and can produce detailed information about both stationary and moving
Radar is used in many contexts, including
meteorological detection of precipitation, measuring ocean surface waves,
air traffic control, police detection of speeding traffic, and by the military.