Waves in space

  • #1
Field physics
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TL;DR Summary
Controlled waves for data recovery
So I've seen that radar can be used in space which is interesting and brings questions to mind as well as theories. Unrelated Sonar which uses sound waves don't work as sound isn't transmittable through space.

Questions:
1) What techniques are used in radar to prevent "wondering" or the radio waves expanding out side of range that it can be received back. Horrible phraseology I didn't phrase that well so basically to try to avoid confusion what I am trying to say is if space is so open how do the radio waves maintain there frequency and wavelengths without becoming distorted the farther they go? Hope that helped but honestly may not have.

2) We use radar and we use light waves say with the Hubble telescope what other waves can be used to receive data? We can also use radiometers to collect data from electromagnetic waves & radiation so like would we be able to use other examples of waves for the same purpose to learn more? Like Gramma rays or electromagnetic transversal waves? ESA has seen CMB (cosmic microwave background) radiation in space so maybe?

3) Does the ability to wave transformation have any impacts on already known theories? Like string theory if everything is possible just a very precise string wave movement what allows or prevents the travel of sound? If space has no sound because of lack of atoms to carry sound then what is space? Is space just absolute nothingness? Also Quantum field theory is several dimensional planes with a special order of particles for structuring so if space is a lot of nothingness then is that a contraindication of QFT?

4) What are your thoughts on our current data capabilities? Also what are your thoughts on the use of different wave types and morphologies to obtain more knowledge? Any thoughts on space as a whole you would like to share?
 
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  • #2
2. Almost everything we use is "electromagnetic radiation" which includes light, IR, UV, radio, gamma, etc. It's all different frequencies of the same stuff.

1. It doesn't lose frequency/wavelength/energy as it travels, it just goes until it hits something and then is either absorbed or bounces back.

3. Sorry, but I can't see anything meaningful in these questions. They are mostly word salad. Except that yes space is nothingness.

4. Different data capabilities? I don't know what that means. And it has nothing to do with obtaining more knowledge. Again, this sounds like word salad without any meaning.
 
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  • #3
russ_watters said:
2. Almost everything we use is "electromagnetic radiation" which includes light, IR, UV, radio, gamma, etc. It's all different frequencies of the same stuff.

1. It doesn't lose frequency/wavelength/energy as it travels, it just goes until it hits something and then is either absorbed or bounces back.

3. Sorry, but I can't see anything meaningful in these questions. They are mostly word salad. Except that yes space is nothingness.

4. Different data capabilities? I don't know what that means. And it has nothing to do with obtaining more knowledge. Again, this sounds like word salad without any meaning.
Thanks for the input and I definitely understand the word salad to be honest I confused myself a lot I am trying to do a little more astronomy and cosmology I've focused way to much on the fundamentals of basic physics I haven't gone a whole lot into the advanced stuff.

About the radio waves though do they got get disoriented after getting so far away? Like example radar is often used for speed enforcement so the radio waves are sent out hit the cars return and rapidly calculates the speed and distance and that data is recorded when radar locks but what I am curious about is radars ranges are limited in distance before it doesn't have accuracy anymore like the most common ones have some accuracy abnormalities after 3500ft so I was wondering if that would be the same in space if the radio waves so far enough if when they return the accuracy is compromised any?

Also by data capability I mean more or less just understanding data that's received like having more capability at understanding data.
 
  • #4
Field physics said:
Thanks for the input and I definitely understand the word salad to be honest I confused myself a lot I am trying to do a little more astronomy and cosmology I've focused way to much on the fundamentals of basic physics I haven't gone a whole lot into the advanced stuff.

About the radio waves though do they got get disoriented after getting so far away? Like example radar is often used for speed enforcement so the radio waves are sent out hit the cars return and rapidly calculates the speed and distance and that data is recorded when radar locks but what I am curious about is radars ranges are limited in distance before it doesn't have accuracy anymore like the most common ones have some accuracy abnormalities after 3500ft so I was wondering if that would be the same in space if the radio waves so far enough if when they return the accuracy is compromised any?

Also by data capability I mean more or less just understanding data that's received like having more capability at understanding data.
I think you could start to answer some of these questions by reading about "Link Budget", which deals with the loss of energy or amplitude of the signal with distance in a channel (either for RADAR reflections or for RF communication channels). Please have a look through this introductory article and let us know if you have more questions. Thanks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_budget
 
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  • #5
berkeman said:
I think you could start to answer some of these questions by reading about "Link Budget", which deals with the loss of energy or amplitude of the signal with distance in a channel (either for RADAR reflections or for RF communication channels). Please have a look through this introductory article and let us know if you have more questions. Thanks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_budget
Thank you I will definitely be interested in reading it :)
 
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  • #6
berkeman said:
I think you could start to answer some of these questions by reading about "Link Budget", which deals with the loss of energy or amplitude of the signal with distance in a channel (either for RADAR reflections or for RF communication channels). Please have a look through this introductory article and let us know if you have more questions. Thanks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_budget
Thanks that helped some and I'll also be doing a class in astronomy next term so after that I'll revise this with any new questions. Thank you for this link it was helpful and I appreciate it.
 
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  • #7
Field physics said:
About the radio waves though do they got get disoriented after getting so far away? Like example radar is often used for speed enforcement so the radio waves are sent out hit the cars return and rapidly calculates the speed and distance and that data is recorded when radar locks but what I am curious about is radars ranges are limited in distance before it doesn't have accuracy anymore like the most common ones have some accuracy abnormalities after 3500ft so I was wondering if that would be the same in space if the radio waves so far enough if when they return the accuracy is compromised any?
Mainly they just spread out.
 
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  • #8
russ_watters said:
Mainly they just spread out.
Just to add, for traffic radar this means that the beam eventually becomes wider than a car. Then the echo is partially off the landscape or other cars, so you don't get a clean measure of a single car at long range. You could engineer tighter beams if you needed more range, but how often are traffic cops going to need to measure speeds at over a kilometre away? More expensive radars can see further.

The limit to radar range is essentially trchnological - the power you can pump out through how tight a beam and how sensitive your receivers are.
 
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  • #9
Ibix said:
Just to add, for traffic radar this means that the beam eventually becomes wider than a car.
Radar systems produce beams which are usually wider than the targets they are observing; By using wide reflectors (narrow beam width), the directional accuracy can be improved but you may not even find the target at all if the beam is too narrow. Imagine a searchlight beam, sweeping the sky. It can easily miss a passing plane.

PS Using strings of self-generated questions is not a good way to learn a subject. The scatter-gun questions will mostly not make sense or not result in meaningful answers. Read stuff that's already been written, tailored to learning. Even Wikipedia is useful. But text books are seriously the best way to gain knowledge, althoug they involve hard work on the part of the reader.
 
  • #11
Radars are designed to operate at wavelengths λ related to the expected target size. Traffic and aircraft detection radars, for example, often operate in L-band (previous designation X-band) utilizing λ relative to automobile, truck and aircraft size.*

Radars designed for space operations utilize longer wavelengths at much higher power to detect large objects such as small asteroids and large artificial structures. Radars mounted on spacecraft tend to be mission specific.

An interesting engineering result is that waveguides are sized proportional to the selected band. Traffic radar "guns" can be easily held in your hand while you can actually walk within large waveguides for space band radars used to measure, for example, Earth-Luna distances.

Note that frequency is inversely related to wavelength. Longer wavelengths designate lower frequencies; higher frequencies imply shorter λ.

An electromagnetic (EM) field generated by a radar transmitter propagates toward infinity. Objects that impinge on this field generate return EM that may be detected by radar receivers sensitive to the original λ. Since EM field strength decreases inversely with distance from the transmitter, and for related reasons, practical radars operate with characteristic pulses that can also carry identifying signals.
-----------------------------
* Radar operating in restricted areas such as cities and airports utilize frequencies that minimize interference with other EM sources such as radio and television broadcasts.
 
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