Radar also commonly known as Radio detection and ranging has been the talk of the town for the last few years. It has actually become a very important tool for predicting the weather. This technology was brought to light by Britain and the U.S during the second World War. Although this technology was not used to observe and predict the weather, it came to prove its helpfulness all the same.
With this technology, scientists always use an antenna to send radio waves which are later reflected from solids and liquids in the air and eventually sent back.
After this, the technology is used to detect the presence of an object and the distance of the object from a reference point. The result of the whole process is shown on a screen. The screen is no different from one of a computer or a TV.
Satellites use cameras to take pictures. The satellite cameras vary greatly and can range from digital to video cameras. The cameras capture everything that is happening in the space and eventually send the signals back to earth.
However, there are several weather obstructions that can affect the whole process. For this reason, they are using different lenses and filters to beat around. The good thing with satellites is that they can actually take pictures of a Hurricane from several miles away.
The same camera can monitor the activities of people, vehicles and also take documentations of things that are happening around. The photos are very clear and accurate to the extent that they can be used to monitor and predict the weather.
Difference between Radar and Satellite
1. Working. There are several differences between a Radar and a Satellite in the way they work. As a matter of fact, Radar transmits an electronic signal that will hit an object either liquid or solid and bounce back. The information sent back will clearly show the distance between the standing point and the object.
2. Functionality. On the other hand, the Satellite images can actually show images as they are. Radar on their side will create representations of the real object to show things that maybe the satellite camera cannot show.
3. Use of Cameras. Satellites will use a camera to record the real information. There are actually digital and still video and image cameras that will show everything to a certain distance from the satellite. These cameras contain different lenses depending on the function and use. The radar will never use any cameras. Rather than using cameras to record the images and videos, Radar will only use transmitters and receivers to send and receive signals.
4. Radar Imagery. This originates from ground sensors. There’s a difference because in Radar the Images will not come from the satellite. The sensors on the ground only emit pulses of radiation that later give clear information about the objects and the distances from the Radar.
5. What they use. Another difference exists between Radar and Satellite simply because Radar uses microwave parts of the electromagnet spectrum. Most people argue that Radar uses infrared which is not true.
Pros of Radar
There are several reasons why most administrators and researchers like Radar. Here are some of them:
- Radar, unlike Satellite, provides superior penetration capability regardless of the weather condition.
- Radar can be used during the day or night
- This technology uses electromagnetic waves which means it doesn’t require a medium.
- The technology is very flexible
- It’s a two-direction mode
- The beams sent can accommodate many targets
- Radar can actually select the best reflection.
Cons of Radar
- There are several interference sources
- The system will never detect if acceleration is greater than one
- Radar can actually take up to 2 seconds to lock on.
- If there are larger targets close to the Radar, they can stimulate the receiver.
Pros of Satellite weather
- This technology is cost-effective
- Its Globally available
- It also offers superior reliability
- Scalability and Immediacy
- Satellites offer superior performance.
Cons of Satellite weather
- The signal reception can be Spotty
- There’s an issue with the Propagation delay
- Additionally, there are no repair shops in the space
Similarities between Radar and Satellite
There are very few similarities between Radar and Satellite weather. However, it’s very clear that both systems can detect stationary objects. Additionally, they can as well as to detect moving objects. If the data from them is analyzed the right way with the use of research and data analysis tools, it can be used to detect weather changes, detect and predict disasters and also to forecast weather. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of weather radar here