- The definition of sonar is a system that sends out sound waves and measures how long it takes for them to be reflected and returned as a way to detect the depth of water or to find objects under water.
An example of sonar is a system wherein you send out sound waves and see how long it takes to bounce them back in order to try to find out how deep an area is in the Atlantic Ocean.
sonar definition by Webster's New World
Origin: so(und) n(avigation) a(nd) r(anging)
sonar definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A system using transmitted and reflected underwater sound waves to detect and locate submerged objects or measure the distance to the floor of a body of water.
- An apparatus, as one in a submarine, using sonar.
Origin: so(und) na(vigation and) r(anging).
sonar - Computer Definition
A sonic device used for the detection and location of underwater objects. Active sonar emits sound waves and measures the characteristics of the waves reflected from objects. Passive sonar simply measures the characteristics of sound waves emitted by objects. Sonar determines the range and position of such objects through the use of the Doppler effect, radial component of velocity measurement, and triangulation. See also ping and radar.
sonar - Science Definition
- Short for sound navigation and ranging. A method of detecting, locating, and determining the speed of objects through the use of reflected sound waves. A sound signal is produced, and the time it takes for the signal to reach an object and for its echo to return is used to calculate the object's distance. The Doppler effect can also be used to determine the object's relative velocity. Electronic sonar systems are used for submarine navigation and for detecting schools of fish. Some mammals, especially bats, use biological sonar to navigate and detect prey in dark conditions, commonly called echolocation.
- The equipment or physiology used in doing this. See also Doppler effect, lidar, radar.
An electrical impulse is converted into sound waves that are transmitted underwater. The sound waves are reflected off objects in their paths, creating echoes that return to the vessel and are picked up by the sonar equipment.