supersonic radar

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boobesque | 19:43 Wed 19th Jul 2006 | Science
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following on from catso's question, radar works by pinging sound waves in a direction and waiting for possible rebounds. if something is travelling at supersonic speed then they would arrive at the radar before the radars sound waves return making the radar reduntant.

nowadays supersonic flight is easier to achieve and i cant believe that radar would allow itself to be over run by new technology.

my question is how has radar improved to cope with the detection of supersonic flight. i know that you cant speed up sound waves (not significantly anyway) so what is it?


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tonyted is correct, Radar uses high frequency radio waves, radio waves travel at virtually the speed of light (about .98)
Radar is limited in range by the curve of the earth, but lets say its mounted on top of a tall tower with a range of 100 miles.
I will let you work it out but how long will it take the signal to complete its 200 mile round trip if its travelling at three million meters per second?? not very long at all

Question Author
aha. i was thinking of sonar. silly me
So the first person to develop a supersonic submarine will be on a winner.

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