RADAR stands for Radio Detection and Ranging System. It is an electromagnetic system used to detect the distance and location of an object from the RADAR transmitter. RADAR works on the principle of reflection where radio waves are transmitted through space onto the object and the echoes or reflections are monitored. Radio signals are transmitted through a transmitter from the RADAR system. The radio waves are radiated via an antenna attached to the transmitter. Once the signals strike the object, they are reflected back to the transmitter through the antennae and the data is then used to calculate the details of the object.
Advantages of RADAR
1. RADAR can penetrate mediums such as clouds, fogs, mist and snow. The signals used by RADAR technology are not limited or hindered by snow, clouds or fogs. This means that even in the presence of these adverse conditions, data will still be collected.
2. RADAR signal can penetrate insulators. Materials that are considered insulators such as rubber and plastic do not hinder RADAR signals from collecting data. The signals will penetrate the materials and capture the necessary data required.
3. It can give the exact position of an object. RADAR systems employ the use of electromagnetic to calculate the distance of an object and its exact position on the earth’s surface or space.
4. It can determine the velocity of a target. RADAR systems have the capability of calculating the velocity of an object in motion. Besides knowing its location, you will also have data regarding the velocity of the object.
5. It can measure the distance of an object. RADAR systems work by measuring the exact distance of an object from the transmitter.
6. It can tell the difference between stationery and moving targets. The data collected by RADAR systems is enough to tell whether the object was in motion or it was stationary.
7. RADAR signals do not require a medium of transportation. RADAR employs the use of radio signals that can travel in air or space. They do not require any medium to be transported.
8. RADAR signals can target several objects simultaneously. The radio signals used by RADAR operate on a wider area and can target more than one object and return data regarding all the objects targeted.
9. It allows for 3D Imaging based on the various angles of return. The data captured by RADAR systems can be used to map an area and provide 3D images of the area based on the varying angles of return.
10. It is wireless and does not rely on wire connectivity. Radio signals do not require a medium to travel therefore there is no need for wire connectivity.
11. It is cheaper as compared to other systems. RADAR systems are relatively cheaper especially if used for large-scale projects.
12. High operating frequency allows for the storage of large amounts of data. The RADAR systems can store large amounts of information that can be used for more than one purpose.
13. It covers a wider geographical area. The radio signals emitted by RADAR systems cover a significantly large geographical area at once.
14. It allows for repetitive coverage. RADAR systems are not limited to single coverage of a target. They can provide the same information multiple times about a target.
15. Easy data acquisition at different scales. It is easier to acquire data and information of a target with various resolutions.
16. It is fast if the area is not too large. RADAR systems return data quite fast if the area under observation is not too wide.
17. It has several industrial applications. RADAR systems provide data that can be used by several industries across the economic spectrum.
18. Cheap and fast method of calculating base maps when no detailed survey is required. The systems can be used to figure out base maps especially if the data being sort is not complicated.
19. It can get data from some of the remotest areas of the planet. RADAR can be used to get data from some of the most unreachable areas of the planet such as active volcanoes.
20. It is economical when doing small-scale map revision. It is a relatively cheaper method for small-scale mapping.
Disadvantages of RADAR systems
1. RADAR takes more time to lock on an object. Since radio signals travel freely in air and space, it takes more time to get to the object and back.
2. RADAR has a wider beam range (Over 50ft Diameter). The beam range for RADAR is quite wide and not target specific.
3. It has a shorter range (200ft). Unlike LiDAR, RADAR signals operate at a limited range of 200ft.
4. It cannot track if an object is decelerating at more the 1mph/s. If an object is in motion, it may be a challenge for RADAR systems to collect data from the object.
5. Large objects that are close to the Transmitter can saturate the receiver. The radio signals work best when the object is further away from the receiver and not closer.
6. Readings may be falsified if the object is handheld. If the target is held in the hand, the data collected may not be accurate.
7. RADAR can be interfered with by several objects and mediums in the air. The radio signals face plenty of interference from the air while traveling to and from an object.
8. It cannot distinguish or resolve multiple targets. If there are several targets, the radio signals may not tell the objects apart.
9. It cannot differentiate the color of the object. RADAR systems will get all the information regarding an object but will not provide data regarding the color of the target.
10. It cannot resolve targets that are deep in the sea. RADAR systems are not able to penetrate the sea beds to capture data of objects found deep down the sea.
11. It cannot resolve targets that are obstructed by a conducting material. Radio signals have challenges with maneuvering materials that are conductors. If an object is behind such material, it is difficult for it to obtain the data regarding the target.
12. It cannot resolve the type of the object. RADAR systems do not provide data regarding the type of target being resolved. The signals are not intelligent enough to tell the difference in object type.
13. It is not very accurate. The data collected by RADAR systems are accurate only up to a certain extent. Some details may be omitted due to a lack of accuracy.
14. It can be interrupted by other signals. Radio signals travel through air and space where it can be combined with other radio signals from other frequencies. If not properly directed, the signals can be interrupted by other signals and alter the information being transmitted.
15. It is not very stable and is susceptible to external interference. Since the signals from RADAR systems are not specifically targeted, it is prone to external interference by other mediums.
16. It can be oversensitive. The signals from RADAR systems tend to be oversensitive sometimes which may lead to inaccurate data.
17. It cannot be used beyond the ionosphere. The radio signals emitted by RADAR systems do not work beyond the ionosphere. If they go beyond the ionosphere, they will be reflected back to earth.
18. It can be expensive if used in small areas especially if it is one-time use. RADAR systems are effective if used over large geographical areas over long periods of time. However, if it is only used once over a small area, the cost may be relatively expensive.
19. It requires specialized training to analyze the data. The data captured by the RADAR system are usually stored in raw format. It requires specialized training to be able to analyze and interpret the data to make sense out of it.
20. The data provided by RADAR systems are usually not complete. The incomplete data is due to the fact that the signals will not report every detail about the target.
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of RADAR check out our article that details The different types of RADAR systems here.