Radar/EM Wave Queries (reflection and scattering) [HELP]

In summary, the conversation is about radar and the use of microwaves instead of radio waves. The question is asked if all forms of EM radiation scatter based on properties of conduction and the answer is that as the wavelength decreases, the mechanisms may change slightly but the principle remains the same.
  • #1
hi i'm noodle
1
0

Homework Statement



Hey, I'm writing a report on applications of radar at the moment and just have a few tasty questions about radar/EM wave propagation...

Firstly, I understand that active radar relies on radio waves scattering off bodies with differing properties of conductivity/dielectric constant (metals for example).

I’ve read that nowadays, though, a lot of radar systems use microwaves instead of radiowaves, so I'm assuming these scatter off the same types of objects?

Do all forms of EM radiation (radio through to gamma) scatter just depending on properties of conduction? If not, which do?

Please get back to me ASAP, thanks very much in advance for any help!

Noodle

Homework Equations

- none really needed

The Attempt at a Solution

- already researched theory like skin depth for all EM waves, but just wanted a definite answer
 
Last edited:
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  • #2
hi I'm noodle said:
I’ve read that nowadays, though, a lot of radar systems use microwaves instead of radiowaves, so I'm assuming these scatter off the same types of objects?
Microwaves are radio waves with a wavelength of a few cm. There is no real distinction.

Do all forms of EM radiation (radio through to gamma) scatter just depending on properties of conduction? If not, which do?
As you get to shorter wavelengths ( > visible ) the mechanisms change a little but fundementally the same principle.
 
  • #3
hi I'm noodle said:

Homework Statement



Hey, I'm writing a report on applications of radar at the moment and just have a few tasty questions about radar/EM wave propagation...

Firstly, I understand that active radar relies on radio waves scattering off bodies with differing properties of conductivity/dielectric constant (metals for example).

I’ve read that nowadays, though, a lot of radar systems use microwaves instead of radiowaves, so I'm assuming these scatter off the same types of objects?

Do all forms of EM radiation (radio through to gamma) scatter just depending on properties of conduction? If not, which do?

Please get back to me ASAP, thanks very much in advance for any help!

Noodle

Homework Equations

- none really needed

The Attempt at a Solution

- already researched theory like skin depth for all EM waves, but just wanted a definite answer

Welcome to the PF. Microwaves are radio waves. The different RF bands have different designations, based on wavelength:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_waves

The wavelength you use for a particular radar setup will depend on the size of the objects you are trying to detect, and whether line-of-sight or over-the-horizon capability is the goal.
 
  • #4
Okay, this is getting out of hand. I'm going to log off now for a while. mgb is just way too fast for me today.
 

Related to Radar/EM Wave Queries (reflection and scattering) [HELP]

1. What is radar and how does it work?

Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the presence, location, and movement of objects. It works by transmitting a radio signal, which bounces off of objects and returns to the source. The time it takes for the signal to return is used to calculate the distance and direction of the object.

2. What is the difference between reflection and scattering in radar?

Reflection occurs when a radio signal bounces off of an object and returns to the source in a predictable manner, such as with a smooth surface. Scattering, on the other hand, occurs when the signal bounces off of an irregular surface and is scattered in multiple directions. This can make it more difficult to accurately detect and locate objects.

3. How is radar used in everyday life?

Radar is used in a variety of ways in everyday life, including air traffic control, weather forecasting, and military and law enforcement operations. It is also commonly used in navigation systems for ships, aircraft, and automobiles.

4. What are the limitations of radar technology?

Although radar is a highly useful technology, it does have some limitations. It can be affected by weather conditions, such as rain or fog, which can interfere with the radio signals. It also has difficulty detecting objects that are small, non-metallic, or hidden behind other objects.

5. How is radar technology evolving?

Radar technology is constantly evolving and improving. Modern radars use advanced technologies such as digital signal processing, phased array antennas, and synthetic aperture radar to enhance their capabilities. There is also ongoing research and development into new radar systems, such as through-the-wall radar and radar for autonomous vehicles.

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