Radar is an acronym derived from the term radio detection and ranging. A radar system detects objects using electromagnetic waves transmitted from a directional antenna. Objects, called targets, in the path of the radar wave reflect a portion of the electromagnetic energy back to the radar system’s receiving antenna. Data are extracted from the reflected energy to determine target characteristics like bearing, range, altitude, and speed. This entry describes radar systems and their uses in the military.

A basic radar system is composed of a transmitter, a receiver, a directional antenna, a signal processing section, and a user interface for display and control. Most modern radars use the same antenna to perform both transmit and receive functions and require a switch called a duplexer to manage ...

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